Army Review: Forces of Basilea

While I am a big fan of the traditional army review format, they usually only show the opinion of one person playing in one particular meta. In reality even within the same gaming group there is often a lot of disagreement over which units are top tier and which leave a lot to be desired. So I decided to format these army reviews in a way that captures that debate.  

A massive thank you to Jeremy, Jon, Mark and Tom for their help with this review.

The ‘Expert’ Panel

Jeremy Duvall
Hi all!  My name is Jeremy Duvall and I am one of the hosts of the Counter Charge Podcast. I have been playing Basileans on the tournament scene since the middle of the Second Edition.  Basilea is also my main hobby army.  I have been painting them, with parts from companies from around the world, for the last two years.  My philosophy on building lists is to find models you love and then work on trying to make the most competitive list with those models.  The highlight of my tournament season last year with Basileans ended with finishing tied for 4th overall and 10th in battle at the 2020 US Masters.  This year, the Basileans have brought home a third place finish at the Bugeater GT and first place at the Riddle of Steel GT.  Basilea is an army full of interesting backgrounds with a great theme for picking models.  It is a solid army for beginner or veteran alike.

Jon Quayle
UK Number 2 2019, twice in one year (tournament result league table and Masters)! I have played wargames for over 25 years (so far too long) and have worked in miniature games stores in the past. Been playing KoW since the end of 8th edition Warhammer although dabbled in 1st edition (why not just take cavalry, soul reavers have infinite life leech WTF!) for fun. In my advanced years I have slightly lessened my competitive tendencies over the years and really enjoyed painting over the lockdown period. You may also know me from sometimes appearing on the world renowned Counter Charge or scarring your vision on some Dash 28 streamed games, mainly to satisfy my need for fame.
What is your experience with the army? I have played Basilea over most of 2019 and into 2020, having painted an army in a week and nearly killing myself! In that time they have changed quite dramatically, speak to any long time Basiliean players about what they have lost and be prepared for a long night. Personally, I lean towards an alpha strike army every time; full of Elohi, Knights and Panthers with a good chunk of heroes, not taken a more infantry based army option only because I haven painted them, although completing this guide has wet my appetite to get some completed! It is worth noting I will mark the units as a standalone piece but also rationale how they fit in how  I play Basilea, some choice are better than other on paper but don’t fit as part of my alpha strike game plan whereas others will
.

Mark Campbell
From New Brunswick, Canada. Been playing tabletop wargames for 20+ years. Migrated to Kings of War in V2 alongside many other Warhammer refugees and came to absolutely love the system.

Played Basilea all through Call to Arms 4 and ended up on the top table in the final round, finishing in the top 10 overall. I joined the NorthEast War Kings (NEWK) in early 2020 after Corona hit and discovered the best thing about Kings of War – the community.

Tom Annis
Longtime Basilean player. I have been on every Countercharge review for the army and wrote the Dash28 review as well. Consistently placed near the top of tournaments with Basileans throughout Second Edition. I fine-tuned the double-formation ‘meta’ Basilean list into something special before the list was killed off with the edition change. Used my Basilean models as Brothermark for the US Masters after months of trying to come up with a great Third Edition Basilean list and failing. Crashed and burned at the event and did a heel-turn by playing Undead pretty much exclusively since then. I have stayed active with the army by playing it in non-tournament games, dispensing advice to the other Dictators out there, and continuously pleading with the RC for equal treatment of the Elohi (if Drakons can unlock and have two levels of wound modifier then so cab the similar unit which is equally important to the flavour and fluff of the Basilean faction). 


The Rating System

Each unit in the army is given a rating /10 using the scale below.

Note that the score given is how the unit compares to all other units in the game, not just compared to other units in the army. However, each unit should be considered in the context of this particular army e.g. a Phoenix in Salamanders may be rated differently to a Phoenix in the Forces of Basilea.


Men-at-Arms Swordsmen

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Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Jeremy – 6/10
Your basic cheap infantry option.  Nothing really special or interesting about these guys.  Good if you want a cheap unit.  However, I think there are more interesting choices for infantry elsewhere in the list.

Jon – 6/10
Low cost, bog standard troop choice. Troops are a cost effective chaff worth the command if you have the points, cheapest unlock in the list at regiment size to act as a good objective taker/chaff and fairly resilient at horde size which benefits the most from the Command Upgrade. Use them for cost effective charge takers in all sizes although there are better options if you have the point. Not worth upgrading with artefacts more than to use spare points.

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Photo Credit: Jonathon Quayle

Mark – 7/10
Solid Unlocking unit. Taken as a regiment, they provide a nice backbone of Unit Strength for a very reasonable cost. Iron Resolve is a nice bonus here as it will really help against ‘chip’ damage and will often mean that your unit(s) stick around for that one extra turn.

Not going to kill much, but that’s not their job.

Tom – 5/10
A Speed 5, Defence 4 melee unit isn’t doing anything for you in terms of board control and even with increased nerve from the Veteran Command upgrade won’t outlast your opponents’ mainline units. But this basic warrior unit is the cheapest unlock in the army and therefore has value despite its pure averageness. Its value bumped down from a 6 to a 5 with Elohi becoming regular, lessening the need for cheap unlocks.


Men-at-Arms Spearmen

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Photo credit: Nic Murray

Jeremy – 7/10
This is a solid infantry horde.  This is my goto unit when I want to get some nerve into the center of my battleline.  If you wanted to run an infantry/grind style list this would be my go to horde for stacking unit strength.  This unit works well In the middle of your battle or holding a flank as a fast hammer defense.  Doing horde multi-bases with infantry allows you to do some cool things design wise.  I tend to go hordes if I want to take regular sized infantry because it allows for more interesting basing. Nothing mind blowing here but a solid choice.

Jon – 6/10
Upgrade on the swordsmen, gaining more attacks and Phalanx. Generally the cost boost is hard to justify, especially at troop and regiment sizes, the damage potential is minimal and Phalanx is situational. But hordes with both command and an artefact like Hammer of Measured Force or waver mitigation are a better anvil than the Swordsmen with some good grind potential, great at holding down areas of the map.

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Photo credit: Daniel Read

Mark – 5/10
Similar to Swordsmen, but more expensive. In an environment where medium cavalry is prevalent, these guys might be ok as a horde, but in most cases they are just more expensive Swordsmen.

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Tom – 6/10
Phalanx is a good defensive ability but only truly shines when paired with another defensive trait like Defence 5 or Ensnare. This unit also lacks an offensive rule which makes the Elf/Twilight Kin versions a nice hybrid unit. But horde-level nerve does have value and I would always pay the 30 points to upgrade a horde from Swordsmen to Spearmen. Multiple hordes might be an effective strategy but not one I have tried.

Photo credit: George Charles
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Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Paladin Foot Guard

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Jeremy – 8/10
This is a great heavy infantry unit.  Works well on its own or with other Paladin Foot Guard units to take advantage of Paladin Defender special rule.  Paladins are a durable unit and if they get into a flank 24 attacks on 3+ is not a small thing.  This is a good unit if you like a checkerboard style infantry deployment. Also, 15/17 with Headstrong and Iron resolve will stick through most first rounds of combat to hold up an enemy unit and allow something juicer to get into a flank.

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Photo credit: Nic Murray

Jon – 6/10
I personally always struggled to justify this unit until recently, it either did not offer enough damage potential with shields or lacked resilience with two handed weapons. I have come around after seeing them utilised on mass or with other infantry regiments. With 15/17 nerve at their points and with the proper support, they can grind very well at regiment size, especially with a unit of Paladin Defenders. Troops struggle to make an appearance only as other troops offer better chaff but could make and appearance as a small additional damage dealer ideally next to a unit with the Defenders upgrade. The Aegis Fragment is a very good choice but can be left behind and artefacts again would possibly be limited to spare point options.

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Photo credit: Page Neo

Mark – 8/10
Fantastic unit! I frequently build units around these guys. They hit reasonably hard with the CS1 upgrade and with good nerve and Headstrong, they tend to stick around. A couple units taken together with a unit of the Defenders (giving Elite aura to the Paladin infantry) makes for a solid line of punchy infantry that can take a hit too.

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Tom – 7/10
The un-thinking man’s choice, every Basilean player has played a few games at least with three regiments with the Paladin Defenders upgrade. Beyond the obvious one, Paladin Foot Guard are a very good unit that benefit from the synergistic combination of Defense 5, Iron Resolve, and Headstrong, which combined with the Heal capabilities of the army make them the best choice if going for a true battleline strategy. They don’t reach the mega-value range for me due to the lack of a horde option and Speed 5, which means there are a lot of uber-hammers out there that are faster and can go through a regiment in one charge.   

Photo credit: Grant Fetter
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Photo credit: Mark Lent

Sisterhood Infantry

Jeremy – 4/10
This unit makes me so sad.  I want to love it.  My whole army theme runs around using female models and female conversations and this unit would fit so well into that theme.  However, this unit comes in at a high price.  I understand not wanting to hand out waiver mitigation like candy, but the fact this unit does not have Headstrong at the least makes no sense.  They are fanatical battle nuns!  This is a missed opportunity Mantic.  If this unit was a little more interesting, and there was an easy way to pick up the Vanguard Sisterhood models, this could be an awesome Mantic model unit in any Basilean army. 

Jon – 5/10
Ah the pious sisters of the Hegemony, ah I lament your woes. Let’s start positive, they do have Crushing (1), Vicious, Wild Charge (D3) and relatively high number of attacks so they do have some potential. But they lost Headstrong from the last edition, making them less reliable than other similar fanatic units, so they aren’t very good so don’t take them.

No wait hang on, looking a again they aren’t half bad, well maybe. The regiments start to compete with the foot guard who are a lot better for an extra 5 points, but troops add a little extra damage and range threat but are VERY fragile. It’s the hordes that do offer some very good potential with an offensive item or waver mitigation. The real issue that they are not a bad choice just the spearmen hordes do a similar thing but safer at less points, higher defence and same attacks/Me/Nv. I tried.

Mark – 5/10
CS1, Vicious and Wild Charge (D3) are all nice with these ladies. The Me4 is offset a bit by the slightly increased attacks at each unit size. Probably best used as a troop, but they have good nerve and they do synergize with some of the other Sisterhood units. If I’m honest, I’m a bit stuck as to exactly how best to employ them, but I think there’s some potential there.

Tom – 3.5/10
A bad middle ground between Berserkers and Polearm Block in Kingdoms of Men, the Sisterhood Infantry have neither the waver mitigation of the former nor the cheapness of the latter. Wild Charge on Speed 5 is the worst. Pass on this unit until it’s changed in a future CoK pack (working on that).


Men-at-Arms Crossbowmen

Jeremy – 4/10
This unit may work in some builds but I am not a fan of Reload style units.  If you want to play a gunline there are a lot of better armies that can do that role and still have a similar model feel.  With so many choices that have 18 P1 shooting with Steady Aim in other armies it is just hard to justify this unit. Most Basilean builds want to be moving forward and this unit can slow down a battle line.  However, I could see this unit coming in at a 5 in the Regiment size.

Jon – 4/10
I really want to say they have a place somewhere, that Piercing (1), unlocks, decent nerve/Def and Iron Resolve will get them through, that 4 regiments, couple of Sisterhood Scouts, 2/3 Arbalests and a some Wizards with Lightning Bolt will form some decent ranged firepower. But each time I do, I realise they are more points than Kindred Archers, any movement ruins any chance of hitting and the points saved by taking Swordsman can be used far more usefully. Ah well.

Mark – 4/10
Not much to say about these guys. Pretty standard crossbow troops that struggle to find good fit into the list as a whole. They aren’t terrible, but there are much more synergistic places to spend your points.

Tom – 3/10
Crossbowmen have never fit with any strategy for the army I have ever come up with. Even with Pot Shot, chasing damage from a Ra 5 Piercing 1 Reload unit isn’t how you win games. The stat profile has some value but if you want a ranged element in Basileans look to other options.


Sisterhood Scouts

Jon – 5/10
Now this is a shooting unit! Scout, Steady Aim, Vicious (ranged) and (drum roll) Iron Resolve, what’s not to like. Buuuut, limited shooting support, irregular and currently high cost to purchase in quantity (come on Mantic, you know what to do!), you tend not to see them regularly. If they were regular (and affordable irl) I would definitely try a couple of regiments, their good all round ability adds flexibility so there is hope! (come on Mantic!).

Mark – 5/10
Ra4 bows with Steady Aim, Vicious (Ranged) and Scout are pretty decent, but as with the other Basilea ranged units, they don’t synergize as well with the rest of the list. These girls are also Irregular. I do think you could find a place for them in certain lists where their mobility could be used to good effect by plinking away at casters.

Tom – 7/10
The elite regimental shooting unit the powers-that-be “want” you to play with if you are taking shooting (never mind that the real shooting power currently is in the incredible ease with which about a third of the armies can get to the magic number of Lightning Bolt 18).  Sisterhood Scouts missed the jailbreak of their counterparts in other lists for some reason but have undiscovered value for the faction. Controlling the center of the board with three regiments shooting safely from the deployment zone while overwatched by Elohi in a chess-style Hypermodern opening is something that would be a legitimate strategy if Elohi ever didn’t suck.


Gur Panthers

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Photo credit: Daniel Read

Jeremy – 8/10
This is probably the best chaff piece in the army.  Fast enough to keep up with any of your speed elements and easy to hide when you need to based on its shorter height.  Tons of great model opportunities for this unit.  My army has a lion theme so I use lions from the old GW White Lion Chariot kit.  The only issue you run into this unit is when it gets wavered when you wish it had just died.  It has a 9/11 nerve so you really need to hide this model from shooting during deployment.

Jon – 8/10
These are strangely one of my favourite unit options and rarely do I go to war without at least one troop. Speed 10 and Pathfinder makes them more flexible than flyers in moving around the battlefield, their low height keeps them out of danger until needed and in the regiment option are a surprisingly good flanker on the right target. Try to resist using them up front or throwing them away without any real gain just because you can, sometimes their growl is enough and saving them for a last turn objective grab is the sweetest release (like everyone, I don’t get out much these days).

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Photo credit: Nic Murray

Mark – 7/10
Good fast chaff. Really nice if you’re taking Paladin Knights. They can also make effective end game units for capping objectives if you aren’t in as much need of chaff for that game.

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Tom – 9/10
Has every element you want in a chaff unit except Fly (even the lack of which has certain advantages)—Speed 10, Nimble, and Pathfinder. Not broken like Harpies (which have all four plus two more attacks for only 5 points more), but two troops should be in every single list. 


Paladin Knights

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Jon – 7/10
Before Elohi became regular (Blessed be the Shining Ones/RC!) and because I have them painted, they had been the mainstay of most of my armies. Although they hit as hard a mid-range knight unit with resilience to grind a little, they are on the pricey side and will need artefacts to make them real killers. Troops can be considered but cost does push them out for panthers (compared to Revenant cavalry troops, they make you sad but that goes for most), Regiments are a solid choice and Hordes are….. fun. Be prepared to work to get the most from them, chaff/great positioning is needed to preserve their Thunderous, correct target choice is needed (see previous reason) and a handy Bane Chant is necessary when you do mess up like forgetting Wild Charge. Elite (god I miss formations, damn you 3rd ed), Strength, Vicious, Sharpness, Boots, Pathfinder artefacts are not going to be wasted on these although they will be competing with the pretty lads. Aegis fragment worth more here than the foot.

Mark – 8/10
Great cavalry unit you can easily build an army around or even just add a unit to any list as a good hammer. They are a bit more expensive than other similar cavalry, but you get what you pay for. Higher nerve and Iron Resolve make for a fairly tough unit. 

Tom – 7/10
Paladin Knights have always been the budget hammer in Basileans. They get their value from the speed and moderate hitting power you get for a moderate price which compliments the true damage dealers in the list (Ogre Palace Guard and Elohi in a future CoK pack). I usually have two units in my lists to reach the critical mass of speed that I have found necessary for an alpha strike playstyle. That said, there is a real reason why TC2 cavalry have never been favored by the top players who either eschew traditional cavalry units altogether or instead take the cavalry with CS1/TC1– just too many natural counters out there (phalanx, flying individuals, etc.).


Sisterhood Panther Lancers

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Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Jeremy – 6/10
I feel a similar way about the rest of the Sisterhood units as I do about Sisterhood Infantry.  Just at Defence 3+ and hitting on  4+ to get value out of this unit you need to utilize the nimble and speed 10.  I could see taking troops for chaff instead of the panthers for a model choice.  However, these guys are just asking to be the target of any light arms fire.  Especially since the rest of the Basilean army does so well at  

Jon – 5/10
A little like the foot versions, they are not a bad choice. Speed 10 and Nimble is good, alright they don’t hit as hard as knights but they make great flankers (starting to sound familiar…). Buuuuut, despite releasing units, they are more than a third more than a unit of Panthers in both sizes and without Pathfinder, the unridden panthers are the safer option. Come on ladies, get our act together, sharpen your nails or pray harder dammit!

Mark – 6/10
Nimble, Sp10(!) with TC1 and Vicious is really nice. De3 and Me4, less so. I do see these girls being great as a regiment (to make easier use of Nimble) to hunt a flank. They can also sit back quite a ways (maybe on a hill to get that extra TC) and wait a couple turns to pick their spots. A 20″ nimble move gives this unit a lot of options.

Just try not to get them shot.

Tom – 7/10
Sisterhood Panther Lancers are undervalued currently – their Defence 3 is mitigated by the higher-than-average nerve which makes casually shooting them off with Lightning Bolt a tall order. Their Speed 10 combos well with the other Speed 10 units in the list. The terrain items work well on them in regiment size. More of an issue with the subparness of the Mantic models than anything else that is holding them back.


Sisterhood Panther Chariot

Jeremy – 5/10
More yawn now just riding chariots.

Jon – 4/10
This is getting a little repetitive, so short version – Errr, yeah I guess. Buuuuuut Knights. Toughen up ladies!

Mark – 4/10
These seem like they punch a bit below their weight. Me4 hurts them here and dropping down to Sp8 hurts them. If they retained Sp10 like their sisters there could be something here, but they don’t hit hard and they take up a lot of space due to their large base size.

I hope they get improved in the future because the modelling opportunities for this unit are endless.

Tom – 5/10
No real reason to take Sisterhood Panther Chariots over Paladin Knights since they are the same Height and equally hurt by Phalanx (both units hit on 4s with no TC against it). Like the Paladin Knights, they do have some value from being a cheap fast unit but not a serious choice, which pains me as someone that has two regiments. I don’t think there is anything to be done for them, they just don’t really have a role that isn’t better performed by something else in the list.


Ogre Palace Guard

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Photo credit: Daniel Read

Jeremy – 9/10
One the most reliable hammer units in the army.  With the addition of Iron Resolve these Ogres pack all the punch of a heavy infantry unit with some extra survivability.  However, in a list that has so much 15/17. Or -/17 when talking Elohi, having no deep nerve pools can be frustrating when you get bad dice variance on nerve rolls.  But when this unit can stick around it will kill most anything in the game still stuck in combat with these bad boys and girls.  Also, Mantic makes some great models for this unit.  Tons of other great model options and conversion potential for these guys if having something more unique is your bag. 

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Photo credit: Nic Murray

Jon – 8/10
I don’t use them.

Not because they aren’t good because they are, really it’s because they suit a grindey infantry style army. I also feel they get over hyped too much but this is maybe as I have been tainted by using better versions in other armies like Enslaved Guardians, although should feel privileged as not all armies have a similar option. Their low nerve compared to other anvils and because they are inevitably targets, waver mitigation would be a good artefact choice as their damage potential is high already. 

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Mark – 9/10
So much to like here. CS2 Me3+ and Def5 with 15/17 nerve, Iron Resolve and Brutal. Nothing is wasted in this profile. Every Basilean list I’ve made has had 2 hordes of these fellas – and for good reason. For an infantry based Basilean list, these will be your main hammers. Good items for these guys are Jesse’s Boots of Striding and Chalice of Wrath. You want them hitting hard and reliably.

The models are also fantastic.

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Photo credit: A LS Basaguren

Tom – 9/10
At least two hordes is mandatory for almost every standard Basilean list (taking all infantry regiments to unlock all flyers isn’t standard to me even if it is a popular build variant) since you can’t risk getting your other hammer options blanked when they come up against Phalanx. Plus they are just incredible units, Melee 3+ CS2 is the ideal combination in Third Edition and, like the Paladin Foot Guard, their Defense 5 Iron Resolve matches perfectly with Basilean heals. Their only weakness is an Ogre one—wavering. Luckily we have three well-priced waver mitigation items so they really have no weaknesses. I hate that the best Basilean lists I’ve come up with have three hordes with those items – I play Basileans for the Elohi, not the ogres even if they are a seriously cool Varangian Guard concept that I love having in the list.

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Photo credit: Mark Lent

Elohi

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Photo credit: Nic Murray

Jeremy – 6/10
This one is a tough one.  They are probably better in the regiment than the horde if you want to use them in a combined arms style list.  I know some people are having success playing flying skew and taking Elohi hordes as their main unlocks and picking up the nice flying support pieces. I just don’t see it.  This feels like it should be the stand out unit in the army both as a model (update yours please Mantic!)  and as a unit on the tabletop.

Jon- 8/10
Anyone who knows me will not be surprised. Ok, they are not the 2nd edition death machines of the past, but we all knew they were far too good in the right hands (no piss taking). Start of turn 1, a horde would arrive in your flank able to one shot most things whether you turned to face them or not, giving one or 2 chances to kill them (Inspiring/Fearless is epic) with limited resources was pretty OP. Coming back to the present, losing Nimble was a must, regular went then came back (a must for some but there was ways of coping) but I feel losing their TC(1) is still a bit mean but can understand with the points drop. Hordes still fulfil the same role just one turn behind and need artefacts to make sure they hit as hard as required. I rarely skimp, Sharpness and Strength are top of the list and will only be dropped with great trepidation, although they cannot usually take units by themselves unless in the flank, support is critical. The points drop has also pushed the regiments to the fore, offering an alternative role of jack of all trades, able to do a lot of things well but not overly so. Alongside the hitting power and speed, it must not be forgotten the Fearless, Iron Resolve and Inspiring make them not only tough but independent and help keep other units in the fight, freeing up hero slots needing to Inspire themselves. I think Elohi have only lost a little of their shine, and barring some aberrations elsewhere, fit nicely into the balance of 3rd edition.

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Mark – 8/10
My score of 8 is for the Elohi Regiments. The horde got a bit of a boost with the removal of Irregular, but I think the real gem here is the regiment. 160pts gets you a fantastic ‘thicc chaff’ unit that is also a big threat in the flank. -/14 with Iron Resolve and Inspiring keeps them around for a long time until you are ready to commit them. They are really good at creating traffic jams in your opponent’s lines in a pinch as well if you need them to.

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Photo credit: Jonathon Quayle

Tom – 6/10
I won’t repeat myself as my thoughts on Elohi are well-known and permeate the other entries in this review. The regiment size has good value as slightly expensive but very effective thicc chaff. That’s a great option that didn’t really exist in the Second Edition version of the list since Elohi regiments were 195 points and compared unfavorably with Ur-Elohi at 180 points for a similar role. But for that the horde size’s role as flying hammer was neutered, making the faction lose its halo (pun intended) unit and turning it into some sort of goody-two-shoes Ogre army with flyers. 

Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Seriously though, THEY HAVE A TWO-HANDED GIGANTIC FLAMING SWORD AND SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH, THEY ARE THE LITERAL EMBODIMENT OF THE SHINING ONES HERE ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH, AND THEY HIT LESS HARD THAN SOME PUNKASS HUMAN HUSCARL UNIT. AAAARGGGGHGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

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Photo credit: Mark Lent

Heavy Areblast

Jeremy – 6/10
Pretty standard war machine fair here.  If you wanted to add in some light shooting a couple of War Wizards would net you more points but more effective mobile shooting.  The Sisters at 85 points, the same as a troop of Gur Panthers, it’s hard to think I wont get more value from just another troop of Gur Panthers.  I think if you love shooting there are just better human themed shooting armies in other lists. 

Jon – 6/10
Rarely seen but a nice choice, it doesn’t have competition for war engine slots and both fast and grindey lists would benefit from the odd points of damage on offer. The only concern is the points cost push into competition with the my feline favourites, who are different role entirely but can win a game without relying on shots hitting.

Mark – 4/10
Much the same as with the Crossbowmen. A bit out of place as far as list synergy goes.

Tom – 3/10
Like the Crossbowmen, it doesn’t really have a place in any Basilean army and taking a few random War Engines without investing in other shooting isn’t a winning strategy. One idea I haven’t tested is taking two Arbalests with three Sisterhood Scout regiments. I think that 3/2 formula is a good shooting core for other lists and the same might be true for Basileans.


Phoenix

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Jeremy – 7/10
A solid choice and one where Mantic makes an awesome model.  Also, tons of other great companies make cool models the Storm Raptor from Privateer Press comes to mind.   The only real issue with the phoenix is just how good Samacris is at the same points.  If you wanted to run two Phoenix style units taking one Phoenix and one Samacris would be a smart way to go.  But if you just love the feel of a giant healing fire bird then go with the Phoenix.  I just prefer Samacris but both options are good.  

Jon – 4/10
Now I have heard it on many occasions, why take this when you can take Samacris who is better? I agree, mostly. With Elohi becoming regular, I may be tempted to take one as hero choices get full fast and when going grindey, two healers/radiance could work. It is not a bad unit, the Heal potential is good, especially combined with other but I feel the cost and limited offensive potential make it hard to justify. Make them Crushing Strength (2), extra fireball damage or drop the points to make them a good choice.

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Photo credit: Mark Lent

Mark – 5/10
I’m going to assume you’ve already taken Samacris and you want more healing. The Phoenix is alright, but in almost every respect, it is a worse Samacris. They aren’t bad, but I struggle to find a good use for them while Samacris exists.

Tom – 6/10
You won’t hurt yourself too much by taking a Phoenix over Samacris for the same points but why would you except for modeling reasons? This isn’t a call to nerf Samacris or increase her points – I think she is at the upper limit of fine but the Phoenix has been bastardized into a hybrid support/combat character that just doesn’t bring what you want from that slot. I have always said the perfect Phoenix game is Heal for 2 turns, Fireball for 2 turns, and Fly to objectives/zones for 2 turns. Becoming more expensive for better combat stats that I never want to use anyways makes the Phoenix a middling option to me.


Bearer of the Holy Icon

Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Jeremy – 6/10
If you want a cheaper way than a Priest to get someone with bane chant this is a solid option in the list when you take the lute.  But not a whole lot to say here other than Basilea gets inspiring from so many other sources I have never felt the need to use him.

Jon – 5/10
Flag carrier, all the usual tropes apply when points are tight.

Mark – 4/10
Pretty standard ASB. Basilea isn’t struggling for Inspiring Sources, so you don’t often see these guys on the table. If you are somehow in need of an extra Inspiring source, they get the job done on the cheap.

Tom – 5/10
It’s fine with the Lute but if you are taking one you aren’t optimizing your list correctly. It’s a list building failure of imagination.  


Dictator

Jeremy – 5/10
Another sort of disappointing unit choice with an awesome Mantic model.  I love the model that came out for this guy in the Vanguard release.  Without a mount option Duellist seems sort of a wasted ability.  So this guy could only really work in infantry based lists. 

Jon – 3/10
I want to like him, but he doesn’t do enough. Maybe with wings he could be a harasser/flyer grounder/character hunter, but strangely there is a better sister choice for that role. Really want to use the model as its cool so would appreciate some form of rework to include him.

Mark – 3/10
I wish he could have a horse – though, that might only bump him to a 4 or 5. The Dictator is just trying to be too many things at once. CS2 is nice for some added punch in a combat, and mighty could potentially help in a pinch, but being stuck on foot means he will be hard to get to the right place at the right time to make use of his abilities.

Tom – 1/10
Literally no point in taking the Dictator currently. It needs an aura of some sort to make me think about taking him.


Ur-Elohi

Photo credit: Jonathon Quayle

Jeremy – 8/10
This is a great combat flyer.  At 200 points you get just a rock solid package in a 40 MM base.  The dread is a great tool for adding a cushion to key nerve rolls.  Basilea in general can struggle with bad dice variance so anything you can do to help mitigate that is always great.  Also, great model options here with tons of awesome angel models on the market. 

Jon – 6/10
He’s alright, Dread is a nice touch, a mini dragon I like using in other armies but he is competing with so many good hero choices and an Elohi regiment does a similar role for less points. Also, like the Phoenix, has a daddy you would rather take. Would have liked him to have a TC (1) aura for Elohi, rarely include him unless doing something wacky.

Mark – 9/10
I love this guy so much. He’s a bit pricy, buy you get exactly what you pay for. A solid flying large infantry hero that is no joke in a flank. Inspiring and -/15 with Iron Resolve means he’s not going away easily. Dread on a flying unit is the icing on the cake.

Tom – 8/10
A ‘good’ unit getting Dread is in my top 5 coolest ideas of Third Edition. It just fits so perfectly for the Ur-Elohi. But at 200 points, it’s a real list building question of whether the extra 40 points is worth it over just taking an Elohi regiment. It almost has the opposite problem the comparison had in Second Edition. That said, its Nimble makes it invaluable for scenario purposes and it has the important role of support combat character that drags Paladin Knights and/or the carcass of an Elohi horde from rubber lance/dying fire sword syndrome toward something approaching respectability.


Paladin Chaplain

Jeremy – 6/10
This guy gets you more value than the Dictator.  You can get a mount for him and at def 5 11/13 he can get in front of units and be a surprisingly tough door stop.  No Inspiring but that is not a big issue for Basilean.  At his price point if you like playing cheaper combat individuals as chaff pieces this is the cheap option in that category with the High Paladin the more expensive option. 

Jon – 4/10
I have never taken him although his role would fit amazingly in other armies I take, don’t tend to have an Orc army without at least one mounted Krusher. As mentioned above, heroes are a competitive slot for Basileans (although I have not got to the good choices yet!), with Elohi the fact they don’t inspire is not a huge issue and the Heal options does add an interesting opportunities buuuuuut there is a better Sister choice for their role (feels weird to keep saying that!).

Mark – 4/10
Pretty standard disruptive hero. Give him a horse if you take him and he could go bother Wizards or Warmachines. Can be useful in cavalry lists.

Tom – 5/10
An interesting alternative chaff piece in place of or in addition to Gur Panther troops. This isn’t a bad version of the 3 attack Melee 3+/CS1 unit which proliferates in Third Edition. It’s lack of Inspiring prevents it from entry through the gates of Valuetown though; if it had that, I would probably take at least one with Shroud of the Saint in the same kind of support/occasional combat role I have for Revenant Kings with Surge.    


Priest

Jeremy – 8/10
With the addition of inspiration to this guy in Third Edition he went from good to great.  Its nice now to be forced into taking Inspiring Talisman on this guy if want a Bane Chant / Heal caster with inspiring.  My favourite item to run on this guy is the Conjurer’s Staff and kit him out with Heal and Bane Chant both.  Conjurer’s Staff is one of my favourite items in the whole game.

Jon – 7/10
One of the first units that start to compete in this tough category. Consummate healers, they are great choices for the Shroud/Conjurers Staff artefact and their Cleanse rule helping to get you out of tough positions with key units, Martyrs Prayer is there if you take two. Bane chant is also a must for me, as well as a horse to keep touch with the knights/Elohi but could be dropped depending on role. Bastion is a trap, the Inspiring is useful when you get carried away with your Elohi!

Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Mark – 7/10
A lot to like here. You can build this guy a lot of ways and all of them are good. My personal favourite is to have him with BC2 and Heal 3 with the Conjurer’s Staff. He stays cheap and can fairly reliably get Bane Chant off and Heal a few wounds / cleanse weakness.

Can’t go wrong with a straight healer with Martyr’s Prayer either.

Tom – 8/10
One of the best support characters in the game, a Priest with Bane Chant and Heal plus the Conjurer’s Staff is an amazing option that finds its way into a lot of my lists. It’s an 8 not a 9 because Bastion (1) is probably the most pointless spell in the game – every unit with Bastion needs to have at least two dice for anyone that has played more than five games to consider it.


High Paladin

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Photo credit: Daniel Read

Jeremy – 6/10
The more expensive option of the mounted durable combat characters.  A little bit better combat and nerve than the Chaplin.  I tend to like the cheaper Chaplin but this guy is a good option if you want a defensive fast character.  If you are wanting a more offensive mounted character threat to hunt down warmachines or other characters I think the mounted Abbess is the way to go.

Jon – 6/10
A tough cookie, great as a harasser/flyer grounder/character hunter but also a unit stopper. Great on a horse buuuuuut again finds himself muscled out a by a girl for cost, damage potential and speed but it is very close.

Mark – 4/10
See Dictator. At least he gets a horse.

Tom – 5/10
It’s okay but you aren’t winning tournaments because you took a High Paladin. It just doesn’t have anything that makes you want to take it over other options in the list.


Abbess on Panther Chariot

Jeremy – 5/10
I loved this unit in Second Edition when it was def 5.  It is an affordable killy hero option but I think Gnaeus is worth the extra points for his stronger defensive abilities in comparison.  Also, this unit has the same weird feel of being able to wavered.  However, since there is no real reason to take an Abbess on foot you could use the amazing, probably my favourite Mantic model in their whole range, Vanguard Abbess and mount it on a chariot. 

Jon – 6/10
Great choice as costs effective, slightly quick, slightly tough, slightly hard hitting scoring unit. Sister only Inspiring is not too hindering and at least keeps her in the game, although do miss the Headstrong. Have not used myself because (say it with me ……) competitive slot, a still faster Sister option but also there is no Mantic model option.

Mark – 6/10
Definitely better than her her ranked cousins. For the same cost as a troop of Chariots, you gain: CS1, Me3, Nimble and Inspiring(Sisterhood), but drop by one TC (perfectly acceptable trade off).

I can see this hero being taken in a sisterhood army or separate from one. Have her hunt a flank and she could be a nice support piece.

Tom – 4/10
Give it 8 attacks and I’ll consider running one as a loner disruption unit. Until then, it just doesn’t do anything other than support units you aren’t taking anyways.


Abbess

Jeremy – 7/10 (when mounted only)
Mounted this is a pretty sexy option to hunt down warmachines and heroes.  She has a high amount of attacks that with Duelist can take down most individuals in one round of combat.  The mount option is so good though there is no real reason to take this character on foot which again is a bummer since the model is so amazing.

Jon – 8/10
Rarely fight without her, with a fast army needing to dictate charges and benefit from additional damage to push for a rout, and ideal choice. Mounted on a panther, she is a fantastic multi tool, add in Blade of the Beastslayer, Mournful Blade, Seven League Boots or speed boosts, she is downright vicious. Can be fragile but more than worth it by the dictating play, grinding units, flying into spaces where she cannot be touched threatening half the opposing army can be priceless. Not sure you would need more than one but never tried!

Mark – 5/10
Put her on a panther and hunt characters or warmachines.

She’s pretty expensive for the job, but it’s one she does well.

Tom – 7/10
The mounted version is the only option unless/until the foot version gets an aura and Sisterhood Infantry are made better. The mounted version is just ever so overcosted because it gets stuck with the Wild Charge points of the foot version without benefiting from it when placed on a Gur Panther. A Speed 10 combat individual with a healthy amount of attacks would be auto-include in a lot of other lists but its value is just slightly downgraded by the numerous flyers the army possesses. One of my favourite units in the list—Blade of the Beastslayer or Mournful Blade are perfect if you are taking just one.


War Wizard

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Daniel Read

Jeremy – 8/10
I am a big fan of this unit.  I ran two of them in my Masters list, one with the Boomstick and one with the Conjurer’s Staff. The two together make a really effective shooting duo late game to take units off the board holding objects.  Just ask Tom Annis ;). This is another unit where you good take advantage of some of the great Vanguard sculpts.  I have run the Abbess and Dictator model both before as War Wizards.

Jon – 7/10
Last version, I ran 2 of these mounted every game as they were 75 points, each had higher nerve and although could not switch for Lightning Bolt for free, they could chaff as there were no yielding rule. Now we have moved on, they are still a viable choice but for different reasons, access to Lightning Bolt as a free swap now makes them a good option to snipe chaff in pairs and access to Bane Chant is a great boost for huge raft of Basilean units. Tend to like the mount for flexibility and keep up with the rest of the army but does make them pricey and would love to test the windblast option but always chicken out. The potential for early game chaff denial, messing with enemy chargers or late game shenanigans is great but never feel I can justify the points for a spell I may never use. Good artefacts are the Boomstick, Conjurers Staff or Inspiring Talisman if you are pushed in that regard.

Mark – 7/10
Pretty good source of Lightning Bolt. Swap out Fireball and take the Boomstick for some nice ‘chip’ damage. Especially nice if you can keep him alive in the back half of the game. LB 7 is great for cleaning up those damaged units and chaff.

Tom – 7/10
Just missing a few dice to take three (one with Boomstick) and reach the magical number of Lightning Bolt (18), but one or two War-Wizards are not a bad option for magical support. I was initially enamored with the ability to freely swap to Lightning Bolt, but recently I’ve been thinking more about how to get value from the Fireball (10) and Wind-Blast (6).


Ogre Palace Guard Captain

Jeremy – 6/10
I have never used this guy in a list so it’s hard to comment.  I just think there are so many more interesting options taking up the Hero slot in the list that it is difficult for this unit to compete. The Hero and Hero Monster clots are really the best units in the Basilean army so these unlocks come at a premium.

Jon – 8/10
Again not used this chap as he is a bit too slow but can see his potential. At such a low points cost, makes an amazing option for so many roles, maybe will try to squeeze him in somewhere. Don’t need to necessarily take Palace Guard with him, he is good as one big swiss army knife, adding his combat potential, slowing down units and grabbing objectives. Does well with a cheap artefact to boost in combat, speed, waver mitigation or tricky stuff.

Mark – 6/10
He’s pretty OK. Tough to fit into the list because of all the great choices the Basileans have. Being Nimble is a huge feather in his cap and you could make nice use of him alongside your Palace Guard units.

He’s just cheap enough that you could get him in pairs if you really wanted.

Tom – 8/10
A quintessential Large Infantry hero with all the advantages those units possess, it’s just a step down from the truly broken units like Butcher Fleshrippers from the Ogre Palace Guard Captain’s lack of waver mitigation. 


High Paladin on Dragon

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Nic Murray

Jeremy – 9/10
Prior to the recent change from -/19 to 17/19 Headstrong this was our only real “S Teir” unit.  After the needed adjustment the Dragon is still an amazing choice.  Probably the most durable of all the Dragons.  You can load this guy up with an Aegis Fragment and Life Leech to double down on defence, like I do, or give him a cheap combat helper like Blade of Slashing.  Also, I love having a Dragon or big Flying Monster in all my armies to work as a hobby centrepiece.

Jon – 8/10
An average dragon with Headstrong and Iron Resolve does not seem that good on paper but it does make for a tough cookie. He did lose Fearless recently but it isn’t much of a drop in prowess, he can make a decent flying anvil at a push, opening up options for your alpha units, in this role additional Iron Resolve or Life Leech work well. I tend to use him this way, stuck behind or in a piece of terrain to hinder opponents charges if in charge range, threatening them into making decisions about who to sacrifice, while others waiting in the wings (tee hee!) to capitalise. With or without some artefact support, he can dish out some damage but not by himself frontally. It is usually (more than you may think) better to combine with others even in the flank if possible, although adding Blessing of the Gods or even Sharpness will give him a good shot against most if flanking. With the loss of Nimble on your Elohi, he does make a faster alternative flying down a flank with a little support. Other more tricky options like Pathfinder to help with tricky charges but also being able to at the double into difficult terrain can apply pressure and surprise. Low cost items work almost as well in some cases, so good in a pinch, the Aegis Fragment is great if not using the Aegis item and the heal option I rarely see the need as he can choose to breath fire if at the double is not required.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Daniel Read

Mark – 9/10
Ok, so he lost -/19. He’s still amazing. One of, if not the best dragon out there. Hann’s Sanguinary Scripture or the Aegis of the Elohi are great on these guys.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Jeremy Duvall

Tom – 9/10
I advocated for the Cok21 nerf to remove Fearless from this unit, which brings it down from a 10 to a 9. It’s still a top 3 dragon in the game because of its ability to recover wounds easily through Iron Resolve and an Aegis Fragment, plus maybe even an item like Aegis of the Elohi if you really feel like being ‘that guy.’ It saddens me greatly that the High Paladin on Dragon has replaced the Elohi horde in the list. To all the Dictators out there taking three dragons, I see you and respect your clear-eyed and right-thinking ruthlessness, but count me out if that’s what we have to do to stay in the upper echelons.


Gnaeus Sallustis

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Nic Murray

Jeremy – 9/10
Gnaeus at first looks like a typical baby or mini dragon combat boss.  However, the real magic of him is nimble and rock hard defensive stats.  He has the same nerve and defence as a Knight regiment.  I found using him as a flanking threat dancing around for a turn or two and if you get a flank great and if not you just run him into something and watch it bounce off him for two turns.  Also, in an army that uses a lion theme how could I not take a dude riding a Lion?!

Jon – 6/10
The first of the living legends, a mainstay in the previous edition to why should I bother in 3rd for me. His main reason for being taken, giving Elite to two knight regiments was great but now he sits in a similar place to the Ur Elohi, why take him when you can have a Elohi Regiment for the same role, not use a hero slot and cheaper. Not flying and nimble are a bonus I guess in flanking situations and where you are wanting to escape after a charge but it’s not enough for me.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Jesse Driver

Mark – 8/10
Pretty solid large cav hero. Sp9 with Nimble is solid and if you can get a flank, he’s no joke. Probably want to skip taking Heal since he’ll likely be doing nimble things away from the main line.

Tom – 9/10
Just a perfect character. Gnaeus has everything you could want in a profile like his. His Height 4 is sneaky important for the list. Good to support Paladin Knights or as a loner in a slower infantry based list, it’s hard to better spend 180 points in the list. He has always been and remains my favorite character in the game. He is the number one thing I have missed from playing the army less often this year.  


Samacris, Mother of Phoenixes

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Photo credit: Daniel Read

Jeremy – 9/10
I absolutely love Samacris.  I don’t think there is an archetype build you could make where she would not make your army better.  Perfectly balanced and pointed.  You could go angel or bird motif here I think.    She is amazing in scenario play with her US and ability to pick off units sitting on objectives at the end of the game with her P1 shooting.

Jon – 7/10
An alternative phoenix as her name suggests, she does all the things a phoenix but better (tougher, better at hiding, better Fireball) and Inspires for the same points….. Great inclusion for healing in infantry based armies, the occasional Fireball and dash towards the objectives late game, I don’t tend to use her as the Priest fits the healing role as well for less with my army being spread out mostly. One thing that I always find and this includes when using the Phoenix, is I become tempted to throw them in the way to satisfy other objectives, this does affect my scoring but better generals may be able to resist.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Richard Luke

Mark – 10/10
After the Palace Guard, this is always the third unit I take. She’s so good. 195pts is probably a bit too cheap for everything she can do (please don’t change her…). Early game, she keeps your list together with Radiance of Life and Heal 5. Mid-late game she can take units off with her Piercing 1 Fireball (8) or she can fly off to an objective.

She’s a very versatile unit.

Tom – 9/10
I think Samacris is made to look better by the very favourable comparison with the Phoenix, but I think that’s more of an issue with the Phoenix than her. That said, yes, every time, almost every list, yes. She sometimes gets replaced by a cheaper option like the Priest with BC/Heal in some of my lists if I need the points, but yeah she’s amazing.


Danor the Wizard

Jeremy – 6/10
Danor is a pretty interesting toolbox wizard.  His special ability of being able to cast multiple spells has some fun flavor to it.  Also, he comes in at a pretty cheap cost actually when you look at the variety of spells he has.  He does not blow my skirt up but he’s a solid choice if you want access to all these spells, albeit in less power dice numbers.

Jon – 7/10
Now you may have guessed, Danor has never made my cut but he is really good in the right situation. Worth the cost for the Heal and Bane Chant every turn, with a bonus Lightning Bolt, Windblast and Fireball every turn is awesome. Would work well alongside War Wizards/healers and would need a lot thought into how to make the best use of the right spells each turn, like the Ogre Palace Guard Captain, he can fulfil multiple roles, sometimes a the same time!

Mark – 7/10
Nifty alternative to the War Wizard. His versatility of having several useful spells can be fun. If you can keep him around till the end game, his quantity of spellcasting can really add up.

Tom – 7/10
A very good and delightfully unique character. Bane-chant 2 makes him a real option. He doesn’t fit into most of my lists but he never disappoints when he does.


Jullius, Dragon of Heaven

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Photo credit: Richard Luke

Jeremy – 8/10
I know a lot of people love Julius.  At Defence 6 he is an amazingly survivable hard hitting flyer.  The one thing to keep in mind with this guy is large infantry.  He can’t see, or be seen, like a Dragon or big monster.  I think in general, with these sorts of flyers the larger height of traditional monsters is an advantage.

Jon – 10/10
Wowsers, I mean what a beast! Dragon +++++, the stats speak for themselves, he does lose 3 nerve to a dragon but the Def 6 makes up for it until you get to crush/pierce 3 or higher. Elite makes up for the loss of 2 attacks and Dread adds extra usefulness in combo with other units as well as his own fights. Smaller base size allows him to fit in some tight spaces but does cause sight issues with lower height. He has been in the majority of lists and I run him the same way as a dragon but with some better options in most circumstances. He epitomises the way I like to use alpha strike, pricey but full of potential in the right hands. For all the praises I throw his way, you cannot afford to misuse him, like any big shiny character don’t throw him away to die (may have done that once or twice) or be tied down unable to affect the fight chasing small fry too far from the objective or tied down in grind.

Mark – 9/10
Do you like Dragons? Do you like Def6? The dude’s a beast. If you want a tough, flying beatstick then look no further. Just keep him away from pikes and he’ll make you proud.

Tom – 9/10
His only downsides are (1) his dangerous points cost to nerve ratio, which means a bad nerve spike against that -/16 nerve can be game-ending, and (2) the comparison with the High Paladin on Dragon, which is the same offensively with a lot more nerve. Jullius’s shorter height and smaller base size are serious advantages that makes it a tough choice between the two.


Tollivar, the Seer

Jeremy – 7/10
This guy is interesting.  Now that Elohi are regular the meta is seeing more people start to play flying skew again.  So Tollivar’s may become a popular choice in that build.  I think he is solid but I am still on the fence.  If you have a lot of units to take advantage of his special magic rules he is a good choice.  With Bastion only on two dice and the fact that you need to cast that successfully before you can then cast  his other spells this could be a pricey choice that ends of not casting anything for maybe half the game.

Jon – 7/10
Added in Halpis Rift, Tollivar is a nice alternative to a Priest or Wizard. His spells can benefit any combination of army, not being able to take a mount will be offset by the extra range for the Bane Chant and Bastion on the Elohi. That said, unless you have troops to protect him, he may get caught out and his ability to cast both spells is predicated on successful casting of Bastion first which can be risky, decision has to be made whether you need both or if it is better to cast the more reliable Bane Chant (which is not a bad thing, Bane Chant (3) is rare and pretty reliable). I have not used him yet as he lacks the Heal or useful Lightning Bolt, as well as the lack of steed but am sorely tempted as the spells really help the Elohi out.

Mark – 4/10
Kinda neat for thematic reasons. Being on foot, I can see it being tough to make the most use of his special rules though. 150pts is probably on the high end. I think you can make a more effective wizard with our other choices for fewer points.

Tom – 3/10
A sop to the Elohi complaints, but I could have looked past that if not for Tollivar’s value being torpedoed by the requirement that Bastion (2) be cast first instead of Bane Chant (3) in order to trigger his cast-twice ability. Switch that up and you have a character that might be worth the hefty 150-point cost.


Summary

Overall average ratings /10: 6.4/10

Most agreed upon unit(s): Me-at-Arms Crossbows, Paladin Knights, Sisterhood Panther Chariots, Ogre Palace Guard, Priest, War Wizard, High Paladin on Dragon, Danor the Wizard (1 point of difference between highest and lowest scores)

Least agreed upon unit(s): Dictator, Tollivar the Seer (4 points of difference between highest and lowest scores)

Army Review: Order of the Green Lady


While I am a big fan of the traditional army review format, they usually only show the opinion of one person playing in one particular meta. In reality even within the same gaming group there is often a lot of disagreement over which units are top tier and which leave a lot to be desired. So I decided to format these army reviews in a way that captures that debate.  

A massive thank you to Kevin, Page and Sam for all their help with this army review.


The ‘Expert’ Panel

Kevin Spear
I’m a wargamer of nearly 20 years who has maintained a focus on knight-themed armies (e.g. Bretonnia and Brotherhood) throughout his time in the hobby.  I’m mostly known for my above average sportsmanship and painting scores (to which I fully put on the types of armies that I play). I’ve played Brotherhood almost exclusively since their inclusion in 2nd edition.  Their unique, movement-oriented playstyle (which often projects enormous amounts of threat) allowed me to reach the 2019 US Masters where I took Best Sportsman.  In their current iteration as The Order of the Green Lady, I was able to achieve First Overall in the 2020 Best of the Rest Tournament.  I’ve found their blend of hard hitting knights and durable/grindy units from the Forces of Nature, creates a wealth of competitive list builds that we formerly lacked.

Page Neo
I’m a casually serious gamer from Singapore. My first forray ino table top gaming is playing Warhammer fantasy 8th Ed ETC format for 1 year, then I went on to Warmahordes for 3 years, then Kings. I also played Kill Team, God Tear, Warcry, Malifaux 2e, Guildball, Blood bowl, and touched a bit of 40K. I have a KOW Battle Reports YouTube channel called Newbie Dice (which I highly recommend for short, but really in-depth battle reports with a strong emphasis on tactical breakdown- Elliot).

I chose to play Order of the Green Lady since February 2020 because of the cool theme of nature and knights, and the amazing picture on page 38 of Uncharted Empires.

It took a while to get the hang of building an effective list for OotGL because of the unlock constraints, but once I got past that, this is a very strong army. I was top OotGL player in Call to Arms 4 and ended that tournament 10th. Also placed top 10 in Call to Arms 2 and 3.

Sam Sowden
I’ve been playing watery knights ever since the first pre Uncharted Empires beta spreadsheet went public: I saw which way the RC was going for the not-Bretonnia theme and instantly knew that it was the army for me. So I dropped my Mantic elves, stopped rebasing my GW dwarfs and started accumulating Fireforge kits. I’ve now accumulated over 5000 points of the Brotherhood (fortunately only a small part of my army was hoodwinked by the serpent tongued Basileans) and they’re the army I always find my way back to, even as I dally with other forces.

Finding that I had access to Unicorns and Beasts of Nature only increased the attraction!


The Rating System

Each unit in the army is given a rating /10 using the scale below.

Note that the score given is how the unit compares to all other units in the game, not just compared to other units in the army. However, each unit should be considered in the context of this particular army e.g. a Phoenix in Salamanders may be rated differently to a Phoenix in the Forces of Basilea.


Men-at-Arms Retainer

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Elliot – 7/10
These are a unit that do exactly what you need them to do for their price. The biggest thing they bring to the list is a cheaper unlock in both regiments and horde form. I tend to take two regiments, as they’re cheap enough that they can sit back on an objective all game and not do anything other than be Unit Strength. They’re ok as hordes, but OotGL has other units that perform better as anvils so you’ll mainly be taking them for the unlocks. The horde option is the only time that I think that Sacred Water is worth its points. Combine it with the Healing Brew and your horde can regain D3+D2 worth of damage in a single turn. Mixed in with a Heal and a Radiance of Life and that could potentially be enough to allow the horde to survive an additional round of combat than they otherwise would, not bad for 15 points.

Headstrong on them is an excellent rule for only 5 points compared to Kingdoms of Men Shieldwall. It helps them stay relevant all game and I find I tend to use it quite often to get them out of trouble.

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Kevin – 8/10
For me, M@A’s are a must take as they are our only unlocking unit that comes in affordable horde size.  In such a role, they are perfectly suited for the classic “big chunk of nerve” unit that are often found in the centre of battle lines.

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Page – 7.5/10
Our cheapest unlock in both the regiment and horde level. Both regiments and hordes are great for unlocks, and regiments could be cheap Unit Strength, holding objectives and the horde can take a single charge and likely survive.

Headstrong is also an awesome rule for these throwaway units as the regiment at a lower nerve point and will waver easily, and the horde shaking off waver means they can counter charge and not block charge lanes from your 2nd wave units. Thematically it’s also awesome to know the regular foot soldiers are braver than other armies’ rank and file guys.

Sam – 6/10
Absolutely nothing wrong with them as a basic infantry unit. They will do all the jobs expected of regular infantry, from providing Unit Strength and a nerve block, to cheap unlocks if you need them. They are maybe a little less efficient due to the absence of war engines to unlock.

The infantry options in this list are absolutely fine, but to me they beg the question: if you want to play a combined arms infantry force, why are you playing Order of the Green Lady?


Order of the Brotherhood on Foot

Photo credit: Chris Thomas

Elliot – 6/10
A perfectly decent unit that gets a lot of value for its fairly modest point level. My only issue with them is that they don’t tend to fill much of a role in my lists. The only combat infantry units I take in OotGL tend to sit back on an objective all game and not get involved in much fighting. In that regard, Men at Arms can do the exact same job but for much cheaper.  If you have 40 points spare then by all means ‘upgrade’ one of your Men at Arms regiments, but personally I don’t tend to bother.

Photo credit: Stephen DeRose

Kevin – 7/10
Classic Heavy Infantry block.  Although it can’t swap out for two-handers like other armies’ foot knights, it’s a great piece that can either hold the pivot point of your battle line or play weak side to keep your enemy from flanking you.

Page – 5/10
While it’s great that they unlock, not having the 2 handed option restricts their use to defensive purposes. The middle of the road price point is not worth a unit that just takes hits and maybe survives, as armies are often equipped to be able to dispatch Def 5, 15/17 nerve.

Sam – 6/10
Much the same as the Retainers.


Naiad Ensnarers

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Photo credit: Wolfgang Kuwaldt

Elliot – 5/10
I’m going to introduce a word here that I’m going to use a lot in this review; context. Context is king. In a Forces of Nature or Trident Realm army I would rate Ensnarers as an 8/10. The reason that they’ve fallen so low in OotGL is that they’re irregular, something that is particularly an issue in this army where unlocks are often expensive and OotGL has soooo many awesome monsters and heroes that you want to be unlocking.

The troops and regiments are too expensive to be worth taking as you don’t get the value from their Regeneration (you can’t regenerate if you’re dead), so if you are going to take them stick with the horde. If you find yourself in a position where you’re flush with unlocks and you want an anvil in your army, the Ensnarers are definitely a decent option.

Kevin – 6/10
A great infantry block if you can afford it.  I’ve seen these give premier offensive units fits when they are charged either in a forest or behind a wall.  Unfortunately, its irregular status makes it difficult to include when this army has so many amazing unlocks. 

Page – 4/10
Biggest issue is that they are irregular in an army that is craving unlocks, especially when you buy them in hordes to take advantage of Ensnare.

Sam – 4/10
All the nice things that the guys said in the Trident Realms review about these guys still apply here. But they’re irregular in this list, and that makes them quite difficult to include in a list that has quite a few expensive things to unlock.


Naiad Heartpiercers

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Elliot – 8.5/10
Context is king. Heartpierecers are good in any army that can take them, but I honestly feel that they shine the brightest in Order of the Green Lady. The reason for that is how well they synergise with the rest of the army; their 18” range allows you to set the tempo for the game. If your opponent wants to sit just outside of your cavalry’s 16” charge range, then fine you’re going to get shot to bits by harpoons. Want to advance in to kill those pesky Heartpiercers that are shooting you from a distance? No problem but you’re going to get flanked by Beasts of Nature, Exemplar Redeemers and cavalry. For me regiments are the superior size as they allow you to get the maximum value from your Regeneration. 9/11 can easily be killed by a single Lightning Bolt, but 13/15 take a good amount of investment to kill, investment that can easily be counteracted by one good Regeneration roll. Plus they unlock now, which is fantastic (see Ensnarers above).

I take three regiments for a total of 30 Ra4 Piercing (1) shots per turn. On average, that’s 7.5 damage per turn to a Def5 unit. If that spikes just a little over average they can easily take out a large infantry horde in one round of shooting. I deploy the three regiments together in the middle of the board, with fast hard hitting units watching over them and daring my opponent to go after them.

Photo credit: Chris Thomas

Kevin – 7/10
This is an excellent unit but only comes into its own when you take multiples of them.  If you do, you’ll find the “shoot and scoot” method combined with other units that have large threat projects (e.g. Beasts of Nature) protecting them puts extreme pressure on your opponent to find away out of their Ra 4+ Piercing 1 . 

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Page – 8/10
A shooting unit in our army and one of the best too, 4+ regen is great and forces people to take them out in one go or see their efforts getting regenerated back. Great to hold objectives backfield, and Steady Aim means they can keep moving every round, to be chaff or charge things that expose their flank and rear to them in late game as they have to face bigger threats. You can take one unit to be able to clear chaff and chip some damage, or bring more to really threaten some damage, synergizing with Lightning Bolts from your Druid/Unicorn.

Naiad Heartpiercers being unlocking since CoK21 also opens up list building options which is very welcome in this army.

Sam – 7/10
These are nice, I like them. Along with Unicorns, Order of the Green Lady can actually put out some very nasty shooting, and has the fast hitting power to punish the enemy who try to get close.


Order of the Brotherhood

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Elliot – 7/10
For me this unit is the epitome of a 7/10. A good solid unit that is fairly costed and does the job it is designed to do.

They’re good in both regiments and hordes, but both sizes play quite differently. There are others who can go into the detail of how to use a cavalry horde better than I can, but the general gist is that you should just think of it as a super infantry horde that happens to have Speed 8. Accept that it’s going to get bogged down, but it will kill pretty much anything it touches whether it is disordered or not.

Photo credit: Stephen DeRose

The Banner of the Green Lady is a decent upgrade as Pathfinder is most people’s go-to item of choice for cavalry regiments anyway and this way the regiment can get it for 5 points cheaper. I know that it also means that you can stack another item on top of the Pathfinder but I would advise caution here. The unit can get very expensive very quickly and when you’re adding Pathfinder and Brew of Strength – you need to be very sure that you’re going to be able to get the value out of the unit. 

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Kevin – 9/10
An excellent unit but I’ve found that it has diminishing returns the more regiments you take (my sweet spot is 2).  I cannot imagine a list without at least one as the combination of the Banner of the Green Lady plus other artefacts gives you huge tactical flexibility.  When building an army list, I like to wait until the end to choose the artefact as I can tailor this unit to fit a role that I need it to fill.

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Page – 7/10
A run of the mill cavalry unit with a Pathfinder option that is 5 points cheaper, and doesn’t take an item slot. Allows you to customize your regiments on top of taking the mandatory Pathfinder with other armies’ cavalry, and they also unlock! I’m not a fan of running them in hordes but if you do you can choose to give them Pathfinder and another item as well. Lastly, you save the Caterpillar Potion for another unit, if you need it elsewhere.

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Photo credit: Jose Vega

Sam – 7.5/10
Horde 8/10, Regiment 7/10. (I’ve split the difference for the averages – Elliot)
The horde is awesome. Being able to give it Pathfinder in addition to another item the Brew of Strength makes this unit a force to be reckoned with, albeit at a whopping cost of 400 points. But a horde of knights charging out of a forest crushing everything in its path is the entire rationale for playing this army isn’t it?

The regiment is nice (especially with the 15 point Pathfinder upgrade), but I struggle to get it in, since I usually find that its single unlock is insufficient, and I gravitate to the Water Elementals instead for this reason, especially since I will always want to include the next unit in the list.

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Order of Redemption

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Elliot – 8.5/10
Such a good unit. The Order of Redemption really are the poster boys for Order of the Green Lady, I love the idea that each one of them is the equivalent of a hero in most other armies (or at least that’s my head-canon for why they have so many attacks and Inspiring). The fact that they’re Inspiring seriously helps out OotGL who can sometimes struggle to fit in enough Inspiring sources to properly cover the army. One of the key strengths of this unit is the ability to stay relevant and dangerous at all points of the game. A standard hammer unit will often have picked up enough damage by turn 5 or 6 that they’re just one more tap away from breaking. Or your Inspiring sources have been killed or are needed elsewhere. This isn’t an issue for the Order of Redemption.

This is a unit that is absolutely worth investing heavily into artefacts, as their 20 attacks means that they’re getting proportionately more bang for their buck than any other cavalry regiment in the game. The Brew of Sharpness is an absolute must for me.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Chris Thomas

So with all that said why I have I only rated them an 8.5/10? Two reasons. One, Thunderous charge. If these guys had CS1 TC1 then they would be a 10/10, but with only TC2 their effectiveness can be really hampered if your opponent has the right tools. Phalanx or a flying individual to disorder them can really ruin their day.

The second is the fact that they’re not only irregular, but they’re such a key part of your battle line and irregular. This unit is one of the main reasons that every other irregular unit in the list has been rated so poorly. In order to afford enough unlocking units to get the much needed heroes and monsters into your list, you can usually only afford to be spending big point on one irregular unit. If you can only afford one irregular unit, is it going to be Order of Redemption or Naiad Ensnarers?

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Kevin – 8/10
Another excellent choice.  I find I take these most often in 2000 pt lists when hero unlocks are hard to come by and I need that Inspiring bubble.  However, they need to be used with finesse (read as “know when to charge!”) as they are still only 15/17 knights with no Crushing Strength.  Play them with a specific battlefield role and they are hard to beat. 

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Photo credit: Alfred Eisenmann

Page – 9/10
They are irregular, but have Inspiring, so they save a hero slot to make up for them not unlocking. Also, if you add the cost of Inspiring flag bearer and a Knight regiment, You will realise you’re getting the 20 attacks and Regen 5+ for free. Downside is their high cost for the same Def 5 15/17 nerve. You would hope that they survive the opponent’s counter attack after your initial charge so that regeneration can do its magic and win the grind game. I’ll recommend Brew of Strength or Sharpness for them for the grind game, or Elite/Vicious if you’re short on points. Pathfinder/Strider is also viable I suppose.

Photo credit: Thimo Plack

Sam – 8.5/10
This is one of my favourite units in the game, it gets so much for the extra 50 points over the regular knight regiment. It’s not getting a 9 because it is rather pricy. But it gets so much for the extra 50 points over the regular knight regiment – Regen, Inspiring and 4 more attacks. 20 attack regiments in general I’m very fond of, since they allow you to get the most out of combat upgrades like Sharpness or Strength. They bring their own Inspiring, which partly offsets them not providing unlocks, and can grind with the best of them. I think the Brew of Strength is the best item for them, unfortunately this will usually be taken by the horde in my lists.

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Water Elementals

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Elliot – 7/10
Another unit that for me personifies a 7/10. The best of the Elementals and one that fits really nicely into the Order of the Green Lady list. Their Speed 7 helps them keep up with all of the cavalry and flyers, allowing your entire army to project overlapping threats from all angles. Having a surgeable unit in the list also lets you remain flexible and can help if an enemy flyer does manage to get behind your lines.

Def5, Regeneration and Fearless is a really sturdy combination that will survive a lot of punishment. They’re not all that impressive offensively however; I tend to find that if you go into each combat expecting them to do absolutely no damage, you can only be pleasantly surprised.

Don’t overlook the regiments either. These are some of the best thicc chaff (© Ashley Mowat) in the game, -/14 and Regen 5+ means that your opponent has to really commit to killing them.

Photo credit: Neil Hubbard

Kevin – 8/10
Excellent all around choices.  Consider them your “Jack-of-all-trades” unit.  They are manoeuvrable (Strider!), tanky, and can give an okay punch.  Although I lean towards hordes (especially for the unlocks), they are useful in either form.

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Page – 8/10
Speed 7 Elementals to keep up with your cavalry. Regiments work as thicc chaff, while hordes make good unlocks. Having Surge in your army will keep enemies on their toes as well. Regen once again is great for the grind. They will often find themselves in lists as one of the horde unlock options.

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Sam – 8/10
Hordes are mobile anvils that are an important source of unlocks, and, importantly in a list that relies on Thunderous charge for a lot of its damage, doesn’t care in the least about terrain or Phalanx. Me4 is a weakness, as with all elemental type units. Regiments are decent Thicc Chaff.

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Earth Elementals

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Photo credit: Andreas Ørlyng

Elliot – 5/10
Context is king. Once again in a Dwarf list I would rate Earth elementals an 8/10. In the Order of the Green Lady I just find them a bit of a burden, at least in the style I play. For me OotGL works best when it is projecting threat from every angle at once, applying constant pressure to your opponent to force them to play on your terms. Earth Elementals are just far too slow to contribute to that.

That being said, in as of themselves Earth Elementals are a solid unit. I just feel that you would always be better off taking Water Elementals in OotGL.

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Kevin – 6/10
Contrary to other armies, hordes of Earth Elementals just don’t make the cut.  Their speed is just too slow for how incredibly manoeuvrable this army is.  But, regiments are cost effective anvils that (if correctly deployed) play absolute havoc on opposing battle lines. 

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Photo credit: Alfred Eisenmann

Page – 6/10
Problem with them is that they struggle to keep up with the rest of the army. Not only are they speed 5, but they are also Shambling which means no moving on the double on turn 1. While the Water Elementals are shambling too, spd 7 means they threaten 21” by turn 2, while Earth Elementals are usually not in position till turn 3 or 4. Still I appreciate them for providing unlocking Def6 units in our army which can be useful in the right situation.

Sam – 6/10
Very tough, but are perhaps a bit slow in a cavalry centric army


Order of the Forsaken

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Photo credit: Tyler Schulz

Elliot – 6/10
Another very iconic, cool unit.

The big strength of this unit is threat projection. A 20” range extending out from a 150mm frontage covers a significant chunk of the board in one go.

However they do have a couple of downsides. They are a horde which means that despite having all of the same combat potential and defensive ability of cavalry regiments, they pay horde costs for items. They also have a very big foot print which can limit the amount of cheeky flank charges they can pull off, and it limits their ability to reform in a way that puts them out of arc/LoS of enemy units.

These are a unit that is perfectly good and probably fairly costed, but once again they’re competing with the Order of Redemption as the ‘bloody expensive irregular’ choice. More often than not the Redemption win.

Photo credit: Maurice Vasquez

Kevin – 7/10
I love this unit.  In an army that is becoming known for projecting threat, this is one of our best.  Place them about a 1/3rd the way into your deployment zone to have them dominant 2/3rds of the board space.  What will put many off from including them, however, is their high cost (they really need to take the Brew of Str. to make them a hammer) and their Irregular tag. 

Photo credit: Stephen DeRose

Page – 6.5/10
While having TC2 is not ideal for an expensive hammer unit, the Forsaken Knights is the only unit in the army that fulfil the role of speed 10 hammer, which I sometimes find important to have in an alpha strike army. It is sad to bring a cavalry alpha strike army only to be faced with a flying speed 10 alpha strike army on the opponent’s side. Sadly, you can often expect them to do little after the initial charge, so I take mine with JBoots to make sure they do their job in the alpha charge.

Sam – 5/10
Shouldn’t compare with units in other armies, but it’s impossible to look at these side by side with Elf Drakon Riders and not feel really quite hard done by… Especially given that Drakons aren’t even irregular anymore.  I painted a couple of regiments, don’t see myself including them unless I’m playing a huge 3000+ point game.


Woodland Critters

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Elliot – 6.5/10
I’m not a fan of them as a regiment, as 9/11 nerve is just so easy to waver and because they have Fly, they also lose Nimble when wavered meaning that they can’t pivot before backing away. This means that they’re almost as likely to get in your own way then the enemies.

In hordes however, they’re a surprisingly vicious (get it?) little package. 24 attacks is still 24 attacks no matter how you look at it. They play nicely into the OotGL ethos of putting continuous pressure on your opponent from multiple angles. They’re cheap enough to throw out there on their own and threaten a flank, but if your opponent ignores them in place of facing down something scarier like a knight horde, they can do serious damage if they get in a flank or rear.

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Kevin – 6/10
A unit I’m warming up to.  The horde’s sheer volume of vicious attacks makes them an ever-present threat if they can get into the flank.  Regiments work okay as chaff but are outshone by other units (cough…Pegasus… cough!).

Page – 5/10
It’s not great chaff, especially at def2, as that makes them vulnerable to goblin bow fire and other chaff’s attacks. But with our best chaff the Pegasus fighting for a monster slot sometimes you must make do with these critters.

Sam – 6/10
On paper this unit looks quite good, it is excellent chaff. But the Pegasus exists. Painted up a pair of regiments, never used them. The go to chaff unit when Monster slots are full.


Greater Water Elemental

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Elliot – 6/10
These are…. Ok.

There isn’t too much negative to say about them, they’re a very study package in a small foot print. They make excellent anvils that can get in the way and be a pain for your opponent, plus they have a decent speed of 7. But with only Me4 and 8 attacks they’re not going to kill all that much, even in flanks.

But I struggle to see the point of them compared to a Beast of Nature. A Beast of Nature without wings is 175 points, the same speed and has a significantly better damage output. In a list where two of your best units (Beasts of Nature and Pegasi) are taking up scarce monster unlock slots, the Greater Water Elemental is unlikely to find a home. Very nice Mantic model though.  

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Photo credit: Alfred Eisenmann

Kevin – 5/10
It’s not bad but in a list that struggles for unlocks, it’s hard to justify spending one on this guy when you have other units that play anvil just as well.

Page – 1/10
With Beast of Nature and Pegasus taking this slot the Greater Water Elemental is just not worth a second look.

Sam – 6.5/10
Perfectly decent monster, but it competes for slots with two of the best monsters in the game, the Pegasus and the Beast of Nature.


Greater Earth Elemental

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Alfred Eisenmann

Elliot – 5/10
Say it with me… context is king. Perfectly good unit in other lists, with a tonne of Def 6, Fearless nerve and a very respectable combat profile. But see all the comments above about the Greater Water Elemental taking up an unlock slot. The Greater Earth Elemental then commits the greatest sin of costing the same as a horde of Elementals. So not only do you use up an unlock slot, but you also take up the points that could be spent on more unlocks. So in reality this guy actually costs you three unlock slots instead on one. Maybe it should be a 4/10…

Page – 7/10
The Greater Earth Elemental is Spd 6, which is a world of an improvement from the Earth Elementals. It is also has Strider, is more resilient and deals more damage to def4 or higher units than the Earth Elementals. Only issue is once again the unlock, but because this takes a titan slot, it might be unlocked from a Large Infantry Horde, which allows you to take a Monster and Titan.

Sam – 6/10
I feel the list builds that the GEE would work best in wouldn’t really take advantage of the unique elements that OGL brings to the table, and would be better off in a Forces of Nature list.


Beast of Nature

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Elliot – 8/10
First of all I think it’s important to say, the Beast of Nature is not a dragon and should not be treated like one. The Beast is a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. If you try throwing the Beast of Nature in head on and expect it to break units on its own, you’re going to be very disappointed. That being said, the Beast of Nature is awesome!

For me the additional attack upgrades and wings are an absolute must take. I’ve tried ‘on foot’ versions before and they’re perfectly decent, but Fly is such a force multiplier that’s it’s hard to ignore. I don’t tend to bother with the shooting attack upgrade, my Beasts are so often flying ‘at the double’ to try and get into flanking positions that I’d never get to use it.

The phrase I use to describe the Beast of Nature is ‘just good enough’ and I certainly don’t mean that as a criticism. It’s just good enough that your opponent can’t ever risk giving it a flank because it has a good enough chance of killing you in one. It’s just defensive enough that even a dedicated combat unit like a regiment of knights can’t confidently rely on killing it in one turn. It’s just good enough to be constant pain in your opponent’s arse for the entire game.

Take your time with the Beast of Nature. Do your best to get behind your opponent’s lines even if that means not getting into a position where it can charge until Turn 4 or 5. Trust me, it’ll always be worth the wait.

They do have some weaknesses. While Def5, 15/17 are excellent stats the Beast doesn’t have any kind of Waver or Damage mitigation, so it can be susceptible to chip damage and lucky rolls. Play them cautiously and charge on your own terms wherever possible.

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Photo credit: Neil Hubbard

Kevin – 9/10
It’s not a gamebreaker but I’d be surprised if I didn’t see at least one in every Order of Green Lady list.  And for good reason.  The Beast of Nature will often find itself at the extreme ends of the board, trying to turn flanks or jump enemy lines.  You should always include wings as it gives you both Fly and Nimble.  It’s not a melee god, however, so try not get locked into a head-on-head.  It’s the threat that counts more.

Page – 9/10
The premier flank threat without breaking the bank. I love BoNs with flying and 7 attacks. 2-3 are always welcome in an alpha strike list. Vicious makes them more consistent while Pathfinder means enemies get no benefit from hiding in difficult terrain.

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Sam – 9/10
Oh, man these are good. The Wings upgrade is almost obligatory, as is increasing the attacks to 7. All these combined with built in Vicious and Pathfinder make the package one of, if not the best, fliers in the game.

A barebones Beast of Nature may be worth trying, as a 150 point def 5 15/17 nerve block, but a regiment of foot knights would provide much the same without taking up a slot, and US3. The breath upgrade is a trap. The only time the beast should ever be close enough to breathe on something is when it’s in combat.


Pegasus

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Elliot – 8/10
Chaff-tastic! The Pegasus is fantastic unit, speed 10, Nimble, Fly with Pathfinder means that it can get wherever it wants to go. These are brilliant chaff, they’re great at grabbing late game objectives and adding a few points of damage to key combats.

They really are a brilliant unit. So why haven’t I rated them a 10/10 like I did Gargoyles in the Twilight Kin? Ahem… context is king! In a vacuum the Pegasus is probably equal to or better chaff than Gargoyles. However, Gargoyles are a troop, probably the easiest thing to unlock in the game, whereas Pegasi are monsters. In an army where the vast vast majority of unlocks cost >200 points and the most powerful (and expensive) units are irregular.

The fact that Pegasi are monsters dictates the entire rest of the list; you’re constantly having to walk the tightrope of unlocks. They’re the reason that Greater Elementals are unviable. They’re the reason that you pretty much NEED to include some horde unlocks. So to conclude, good unit but a pain for army creation.  

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Kevin – 9/10
Another “monster” choice that will find a place in most Greenhood lists.  This little guy is your “get-out-of-jail-free” card as it manoeuvres around the board looking to swing those key moments in every game your way.  The number of times this winged white horse has flown onto a objective in the last turn to win the game is probably beyond count. 

Page – 9/10
Best chaff with our army, only issue is BoNs are taking up the monster slots. I’ll try to squeeze 1 in as they are great. 3 attacks 3+ and TC1 makes it more reliable in dealing at least 1 damage, and in a pinch able to help out in a flankcharge. They are also height 4 which allows them to see past hills and sometimes block LOS from the charged unit, in case you failed to do damage.

Sam – 8/10
Very good fast chaff piece that can shrug off light shooting. Height 4 on a narrow  base can be very useful to block enemy lines of sight without blocking your own.


Exemplar Redeemer

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Elliot – 9/10
The 9/10 rating I’ve given here is very much assuming that you have taken the Winged Unicorn upgrade. See everything I said above about the Beast of Nature, except that these do have damage and waver mitigation. This unit gives me the warm and fuzzies.

People often focus on the fact that this unit has two less nerve than the Beast of Nature and I think that’s a mistake. For one thing, you need a 15 to break the Redeemer and a 15 to waver the Beast. But as the Beast has no waver or damage mitigation, a waver is pretty much a death sentence anyway. Whereas when the Redeemer wavers he has a 2/3 chance to pass his Headstrong, run away 20” and Regenerate all that damage back before returning to be a late game pain in the arse.

In exchange for those two points of nerve and Vicious the Redeemer gets Headstrong, Regeneration 5+ and Inspiring. That’s a bloody good trade in my opinion, and the Redeemer leaves your monster unlock slots free for Pegasi. I admit at 13/15 he isn’t going to last long in a fair fight against most combat units, but he should never be in a fair fight – not very chivalrous I know!

I use these in the exact same way as Beasts of Nature, they’re scalpels that use their Inspiring, Regen and Headstrong to more reliably get themselves in position and then charge only when a perfect opportunity presents itself.

Yes, they can be wavered/killed by concentrated shooting. But if all of your opponents shooting has turned to deal with the flanking Redeemer, it isn’t shooting your Knights. What you need to do as an Order of the Green Lady general is make your opponent regret no focusing on the knights.

People frequently sing the praises of the Kingdoms of Men General on Winged Beast. Well this is a Regenerating, Headstrong version.

For a less powerful but still funny option, the Boots of the Seven Leagues is great on the horse mounted version for a 16” Scout move which lets you charge turn 1 with seven CS2, Me3 attacks – beautiful.

Photo credit: Robert James

Kevin – 7/10
I like the Redeemer in either of its forms.  On horse, it’s a wickedly mean piece that reminds me a lot of slightly less effective Herja.  It can take a host of different artefacts to drive home the power.  On Winged Unicorn, I am slightly less sold (but only just).  For me, the Beast of Nature’s “play it with finesse” rule applies here, but even more so as it lacks the Nerve to take a strong counter punch from enemy units. 

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Page – 7/10
Both the cavalry and flying options are strong, although one would make comparisons with the Beast of Nature at the same points. You will pick this if you need an Inspiring source and regen for the long term grind, or you can take one BoN and this for a horde unit.

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Photo credit: Jose Vega

Sam – 6.25/10
7/10 on a Horse,  5.5/10 on a Winged Unicorn. (I’ve split the difference for the averages – Elliot)

On a horse he is an attractive hitty individual that can reliably ground any big fliers, will make mincemeat of war engines and is quite tough, with regen. Give him the Mournful blade, and he’s essentially a slightly cheaper mounted vampire, and everyone rightly loves them.

Mount him on a Winged Unicorn and things can only get better, right? Not in my view. He comes in at the same price as a beast of nature, for worse combat stats, and a whole two points fewer of nerve. He’s not *bad*, and I want to like him, but I don’t. I want my Exemplar Forsaker back.

Photo Credit: David Musgrave

Exemplar of the Brotherhood

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Elliot – 5/10
Here we are again… context is king! This a unit based upon the Kingdoms of Men Hero, which is an excellent 8/10 unit. However in Order of the Green Lady where your unlock slots are at such a premium that I’ve never found a use for an Exemplar of the Brotherhood and doubt I ever will.

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Photo credit: Alfred Eisenmann

Kevin –4/10
In your everyday-competitive list, it is incredibly hard to justify spending an unlock slot on this piece.  In 2nd edition, it was common for me to run 2-3 of these as my chaff pieces.  But with their lack of Mighty rule and the ability to get a nearly as mobile/scoring piece for 5 points more (cough… Pegasus… cough), I’ve never taken one in 3rd edition.

Photo credit: Stephen DeRose

Page – 4/10
The cheap hero for disordering enemies. But the mounted version is only 5 points cheaper than the Pegasus, so the Pegasus is usually better.

Sam – 5/10
Occupies the same sort of role as something like a pegasus, and a unicorn can do the same job just as well (better, actually) at a pinch.


Devoted

Elliot – 5/10
Seriously cool concept for a unit that I wish was better than it is. On her own, she’s a decent-ish wizard with access to some ok spells, slightly higher nerve than a regular wizard and Headstrong (which admittedly is pretty pointless as you’re Disordered after passing Headstrong and so can’t cast spells).

But, she’s not a Druid. Which means that she’s taking up points and a hero slot without contributing either Bane Chant or Inspiring – both of which this army needs in spades. Radiance of Life is a very powerful rule, but in order to get much use out of it you need to either only take Sacred Water units, which you can do without hamstringing yourself but you’re limited to using two or three units (in which case what was the point in limiting it?) or you invest in overpriced Vials of Sacred water. I’ve spoken in the past about how I’m not a fan of units that funnel list design like this.

Anything she can do, others can do better.

Kevin – 5/10
There is a place for the Devoted in some armies, but only just.  I can see her being used if you either (1) can’t afford the Avatar of the Green Lady or (2) are running a “Sacred Water” Battlegroup (Order of Redemption + Reg/Horde of Water Elementals).  But, outside of that, you have to pay a lot of points for something a cheaper hero (the druid) can do nearly as well.

Page – 4/10
Not having inspiring is a deal breaker. The conditional Radiance is also a huge point sink as you need to purchase over costed vials for some units. Might still have a workable and thematic list if you build your list around her Radiance Aura with units that come with sacred water.

Sam – 6/10
Oh, if only the Devoted Inspired! She would almost be an auto-include for me. Really nice support piece, but once you start tooling her up with Inspiring, extra Healing, and Radiance of Life, gets expensive quickly.


Exemplar Adjutant

Photo credit: Nick Williams

Elliot – 7/10
Your usual Army Standard Bearer, except this one also has Headstrong which can be useful in ensuring that your Inspiring is where you need it.

This unit with the Lute of Insatiable Darkness is the cheapest way to get Inspiring and Bane Chant in your list. There are other reasons to take a Druid, but if you’re on a really tight budget, the Adjutant is perfectly solid choice.

Kevin – 7/10
I think in a lot of other armies, the BSB + Lute is an auto-include.  But when you have a Druid that can do the same thing AND Heal for 10 points more, why not take him?  To be fair, you’ll probably want to spend additional points on artefacts on the Druid so if you can’t spare the points, this flag-waver is your knight!

Page – 4/10
Flag bearer that’s overshadowed by the druid. You will also probably not need this if you have Order of Redemption.

Sam – 5/10
Druids exist.


Druid

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish. I. Am. Groot!

Elliot – 8/10
A really nice cost effective wizard. The Druid doesn’t do anything spectacular, but it doesn’t need to. My go-to build for these guys is Bane Chant, Surge and the Conjurors Staff. However, there is also merit in giving them Shroud of the Saint for a 95 point Heal (5) Inspiring source (although at that stage maybe just pay 30 points more for a Speed 10 Unicorn that can also fight in combat). Or the Boomstick and Lightning Bolt for a cheap character/ chaff sniper (again, maybe just take a Unicorn).

May be an image of 2 people
Photo credit: Alfred Eisenmann

Kevin – 9/10
I. Love.  Druids.  In an army list filled with relatively expensive units, these are your discount bin heroes.  You want a healer?  Slap a Shroud of Saint on this bad-boy and you’re off.  Want a Lightning Bolter with the Boomstick?  That’ll be 40 points.  Wanting to help keep Heartpiercer spam safe?  Shoot the buggers then Wind Blast out of their charge range with the Druid’s Wind Blast.  I personally don’t think they need to be put on horses, but if you have the points, I can see the appeal.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Wolfgang Kuwaldt

Page – 8/10
Cheap Inspiring source, with cheap weaker spells allow you to take multiple spells for utility. Surge at a low cost is really great for threatening surge shenanigans without committing a lot of points.

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Sam – 7/10
Good cheap Inspirers and casters, with the added benefit of Pathfinder so that they can get their Inspiring where it’s needed quickly. Go to character if you’re not building around unicorns. And even if you are, there can be a place for them.

Photo Credit: David Musgrave

Unicorn

Photo credit: Sam Sowden

Elliot – 9/10
What is there to say… we know the Unicorn is too cheap. Look at how much Lighting Bolt (5) costs in literally every other unit in the game (hint: its more than 20 points).

The only reason they’re not a 10/10 is because I don’t feel that you’re punishing yourself if you chose not to use one. You just get a very powerful option if you do. An Order of the Green Lady list can obviously do well without Unicorns, in fact I don’t take any as I prefer to use my hero slots on combat characters. But they are clearly very very (probably too) good and they make all the other wizards in the list (and the game for that matter) look worse by comparison.

I’d urge caution in investing too heavily into them if you keep them without wings however. You can easily sink close to 500 points into three of them, which is a massive investment in units that have no Unit Strength.

I’d say take one and specialise it, either stick to just Lighting Bolt and the Boomstick or just Heal with the Shroud of the Saint. That way you’re keep them as efficient as possible and not spending points on spells that you’ll only be using half the time.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Jose Vega

Kevin – 7/10
Personally?  I have never taken a Unicorn although I can see their appeal.  Their Lightning bolt is undercosted, they Inspire, Fly, have a bit of combat power to them and are a scoring unit.  Yet, I always seem to find that I can wiggle an additional unit into my list if I bring them down to a Druid that does relatively the same thing.  For me, that splitting of roles/units is more important but it is definitely worth a try.

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Page – 9/10
Unicorn is great for its points. I love them with Lightning Bolt instead of Heal. It comes “mounted” by default and has decent defence and combat power (CS1 TC1), so I highly recommend keeping them cheap and make use of their combat ability since you’re paying for them (albeit at discount).

I run mine with LB instead of Heal, and Blade of Slashing, making it more reliable in dealing damage. This gives it multiple roles:

  1. Inspiring source
  2. Lightning Bolts
  3. Adding 1-2 damage to a combat,
  4. Ground flyers
  5. Chaff up hammer units by charging them

With already so many things it can do and probably not being able to do everything in a game, having Heal or flying to me is just adding points and more capabilities which it might not make use of. Ultimately, they play a supporting role and will not win you the game on their own. So, a fair warning that running multiple kitted up unicorns can quickly soak up a lot of points for these support units.

Photo credit: Tyler Schultz

Sam – 8.5/10
This was the unit I built my list around when Uncharted Empires came out. 3 of them, kitted out to the max. Expensive, but they do so much. They Inspire, they’re super mobile, they dish out Lightning Bolt and Heal, they can take a punch, and they can give a punch.

I’ve taken half a point off because the changes to hex could really damage them. I haven’t seen all that much hex so far, but once events get going properly again, I wouldn’t be surprised if they became far too expensive for something so easily shut down.

I’ve never bothered with the wings, but some people swear by them. I think they just make them more vulnerable and less mobile. Height 4 and unit strength are valuable, I will admit.


Naiad Stalker

Elliot – 6/10
And for the final time… context is king. The Stalker is a really nice unit that doesn’t have much of a home in Order of the Green Lady. I think that a lot of people under estimate these assassin style characters that can realistically do 2 points of damage every single turn of the game, but their strength really lies when they’re adding chip damage on top of lots of other shooting threats. If you’re going heavily into Lightning Bolt and Heart Piercers, then I can see a place for the Stalker. But that’s also assuming that you’ve got a hero slot free.

Nice unit. Wrong army.

Kevin – 5/10
I actually really like this piece.  It’s not a straight up killer but can reliably put 1 point of damage onto a unit each turn throughout the entirety of the game.  If you can get the mournful blade on him, he becomes a “dual” threat (get it? hah) though his speed is just a bit lackluster.

Page – 2/10
No role in the army. If it had Scout at least that would make it interesting.

Sam – ?/10
I honestly wasn’t even aware this unit was available until I sat down to write this.


Avatar of the Green Lady

Photo credit: Elliot Morrish

Elliot – 7/10
I’ve been consistently using the Avatar of the Green Lady in a lot of my recent lists and really enjoying her. I have her in a list that is entirely regenerating (Heart Piercers, Water Elementals and Order of Redemption) and between a good regen roll, Radiance of Life and Heal (6) she can entirely undo a round of combat on a key unit. On a small elite army like Order of the Green Lady, that is a massive force multiplier as it effectively gifts you back a fresh Knight regiment. Having Cloak of Death on a speed 10, Flying, Pathfinder, Individual is huge as well. Ask any Ogre player how often Brutal tips combats over the edge, well Cloak of Death is like Brutal that hangs around. One of my favourite tricks with her is to fly behind the enemy’s lines, Cloak of Death all their units and then Heal my height 3 knights over the top of my enemy’s units.

Photo credit: Jeff Franz

Kevin – 6/10
With her recent points reduction, I cannot deny the Avatar’s appeal.  If you are leaning towards a list that grinds, she is a great choice as her Balance ability really comes into her own.  Combine that with her Fly ability and she can act as a “Jonny on the Spot” type, getting herself exactly where she is needed.  But, again, that gosh darn druid (or Unicorn) can do almosttttt the same for 30 points less.

Page – 4/10
At a 150-price point with no ability to trigger nerve checks on its own is too costly for me, as support units that can’t cause nerve checks should be around the 100 point mark. Perhaps the Avatar should have an offensive spell.

Sam – 7/10
The CoK change made the Green Lady an attractive proposition at 150 points, I really like her. Cloak of Death is one of the best rules in the game, and stuck on a flying individual who can get behind enemy lines and dish wounds out all game can be very valuable.


Summary

Overall average ratings /10: 6.6/10

Most agreed upon unit(s): Order of Redemption, Order of the Brotherhood, Water Elementals, Beast of Nature, Pegasus, Exemplar of the Brotherhood (1 point of difference between highest and lowest scores)

Least agreed upon unit(s): Greater Water Elemental (5.5 points of difference between highest and lowest scores)


Elliot’s Beer Fund

If you’ve enjoyed the blog and you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a pint. Please dont feel any obligation to do so, I’ve started this blog because it’s fun, not to make any money. Any money received will go towards hosting costs. Or my beer fund… ok mainly my beer fund.

£3.00

Army Review: Elves

While I am a big fan of the traditional army review format, they usually only show the opinion of one person playing in one particular meta. In reality even within the same gaming group there is often a lot of disagreement over which units are top tier and which leave a lot to be desired. So I decided to format these army reviews in a way that captures that debate.  

A massive thank you to Adam, Keith, Mike and Tom for their help with this review.

The ‘Expert’ Panel

Adam Ballard
I am the US Masters chair for the Mountain region. I have been playing Kings since the mass exit from Warhammer Fantasy and will never go back! Most people know me as an elf player, more specifically my love of Goldbreeze (silverbreeze cav, but in my hands they are gold ;). I have played in all 4 years of the US masters and been best Elf general two of those years. I love elves and prefer to play an alpha strike build. In 3rd edition, Elves do alpha strike best!! No contest.

Keith Randall (aka Evil Keith)
I’m a Warhammer refugee who has played KoW since Second Edition dropped.  I’ve almost exclusively played Elves.  After Third dropped I paused playing Elves after (in)famously getting drunk and yelling about the changes on CounterCharge and played a KoM gunline and some LadyBros.  But, after Halpi’s, Elves are back on the menu! As for my “credentials”, I probably win more games than I lose with Elves – but that shouldn’t matters – my 100% scientific (bourbon-fuelled) analysis of units should stand on its own merits!  If you disagree with me, there is probably a world where you are right.

Mike Crossman
Hi guys, Mike here. I’m from Melbourne, Australia, and I’ve been playing Kings of War for just over 4 years now. I’ve been running regular KoW events here since picking up the game, and we now have a very active and fun scene. I had the privilege of being invited on to the Rules Committee last year, and am the first (but not the last!) Aussie to be on the committee.

I’ve played a lot of games of KoW over the years (my wife is very patient and understanding!) with a number of different armies, but Elves have always been one of my favourites. I have enjoyed a good success rate with them, including winning a local event with them during second edition, and enjoy trying out and running different builds. Overall I think they are a fun army with some good diversity. I hope you enjoy the review!

Tom Robinson
I began in Kings of War coming from Warhammer with my late in the game love for Wood Elves giving me a sizeable force of tree themed forces to bring straight across. I loved the versatile combined arms approach Elves had in second and played them as my competitive choice from the start of Second edition all the way to the penultimate CoK update where they finally managed to strip away all the interesting interplay that Elves had going for them, so I played Undead for the final 2nd ed Masters to demonstrate their folly (A recurring theme for me is that when one of my favourite factions gets nerfed I pivot to Undead to demonstrate how much more busted they still are/were . . . I’m not petty . . . or bitter).

I got a lot of reps in with the Elves and helped as much as I could in 3rd ed to bring back some of that but, unfortunately, I feel they lost much of what made them interesting in the transition. I myself played more Sylvan Kin than vanilla Elves due to this but still played against them quite often and as my first Kings of War love I keep a close eye on each CoK update. As a result much of my views are based on that move from 2nd edition to 3rd . While many factions are defined by their rivals, for me Elves are defined by what they used to be.

The Rating System

Each unit in the army is given a rating /10 using the scale below.

Note that the score given is how the unit compares to all other units in the game, not just compared to other units in the army. However, each unit should be considered in the context of this particular army e.g. a Phoenix in Salamanders may be rated differently to a Phoenix in the Forces of Basilea.


Kindred Tallspears

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 8/10
Mainly taking them in the horde profile. Very solid, well balanced unit. Benefits very well from magic items due to high number of Elite attacks. Hammer of Measured Force, or Brew of Strength ideally. These will likely compete with Palace Guard hordes for a spot in the army and for me personally I am taking spears over Palace Guard mainly due to cav and fliers. Phalanx is clutch and this unit is one of the only “anvils” in the army.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 6/10
Tallspears are…fine.  Nice nerve block, lots of attacks, and Phalanx.  Give them Hammer of Measured Force and/or Brew of Strength and they can cause some real damage.  The problem they have in Elves (in contrast to Twilight Kin) is that they aren’t Palace Guard (or Shield Wall or Forest Guard, or Sea Guard).  Taking a Tallspears horde with Brew of Strength – you could also take Palace Guard with Staying Stone or Mace of Crushing.  Taking a regiment of Tallspears?  Find 10 points and take a Sea Guard regiment instead.  In summation – not bad, not great – probably going to take something else.

Recommended Items: Hammer of Measure Force; Brew of Strength

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 8/10
A horde can form a nice, solid backbone to any Elf list. 30 Elite attacks can do some damage, especially paired with items such as Brew of Strength, Hammer of Measured Force or Chant of Hate. Phalanx and a nice chunk of nerve make it good defensively. Can also be useful in regiment form to keep enemy cavalry honest, although I prefer them as a horde.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Tom – 6/10
An absolutely middle of the road unit. It’s your bog standard line infantry with the added bonus/weakness of having the elite Elven bonuses. They’re expensive for your typical main stay unit but bringing 30 Elite attacks is putting 18 hits out average and augmented with Bane Chant and/or Brew of Strength they can compete with more elite combat units. The extra Speed and Nerve keeps them around a little longer while projecting threat and Phalanx keeps the fast alpha strike stuff honest. My issue is they’re sitting next to Palace Guard for competition. Regiments lose out to the cheaper Archers or more versatile Seaguard/Gladestalkers. So by no means a bad unit, just quite expensive and somewhat plain when racked up against the rest of the factions or against the Elven internal list roster.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Shield Watch

Photo credit: Jason Birr

Adam – 4/10
Defence 5 infantry is great for elves, but there is no horde option. The main reason I rate this unit so low is because it contradicts the way the rest of the units in the army play. I am sure this unit is above a 5 in some builds, but for me it will never see the table.

Keith – 4/10
Shield Watch are a unit without a purpose in Elves (at least the way I put them on the table).  Their stats are fine – but they don’t shoot and they don’t move quickly – they are here to be a speed bump when other units (Shamblers) speed bump almost as well for cheaper.   Granted they do unlock, which pre-Halpi’s was an issue, but they are only going to help you survive 1 post-charge turn usually – and I don’t see the facility there.

Mike – 5/10
Not a unit I’ve used much, they seem to lack a defined role currently. Offensively they are outmatched by Palace Guard, their lower nerve means they can be prone to wavering, and me4 can be iffy even with Elite. Could do with a slight adjustment to see more play.

Tom – 4/10
I don’t care for these guys, I don’t really know why they exist. Elves never asked for more infantry unlocks, they needed more of everything else to unlock. They’re expensive, not as fighty as Palace Guard and mediocre in both defence and offence. So they’re Def 5 . . . and that’s about as much as you can say for them. I’d take Palace Guard for the combat ability and extra nerve over extra defence. They also lack a horde option which again loses out to Palace Guard. They feel symptomatic of the poor hand Elves were dealt in 3rd.


Forest Guard

Photo credit: Jason Birr

Adam – 5/10
Slightly better than Shield Watch. Again no horde option (damn you Sylvan Kin!!) Similar idea to Shield Watch as to why I rate these guys low. They have play and placement in some builds and Pathfinder is very useful, but they don’t fit into my list/playstyle (alpha strike).

Keith – 4/10
Forest Guard don’t really fit in for me either.  They are 5 points more expensive that Palace Guard at a regiment level – and add Pathfinder and replace CS 1 with Thunderous 1 which is…ok?  But I don’t see many uses for this unit that a Palace Guard regiment can’t do (CS is much better than Thunderous…and Pathfinder is very situational).  Forest Guard are a bit more about alpha strike, but only move 6 (which is a very elf thing to say…).  In a world with cheaper Sea Guard, unlocking Gladestalkers, and Palace Guard, Forest Guard don’t have a place (unless you can take them as a horde…but this is not the Sylvan Kin review). 

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 6/10
Troops can be useful chaff that can move at the double through forests and also packs a punch. Ignore these in your flank at your peril! Regiments aren’t bad but I prefer the slightly cheaper Palace Guard for around the same points cost.

Tom – 5/10
Similar to the above Shield Watch. Another variant of infantry which changes one or two minor stats/rules from Palace Guard and adds little to nothing to the list. I like them slightly more and they’re fine as a unit because a Pathfinder infantry unit with speed 6 and TC1 has situational benefits that you have to buy items to get otherwise for other Elf infantry. That said I still wouldn’t bother as they’re not Palace Guard. Much like the above, symptomatic of the Elven 3rd ed curse, the Watch and both Guard units are technically 3 unlocking units; in reality it’s only one unlocking unit. These three are about as different as Kingdoms of Men Foot guard with the two handed weapon option and Indomitable Will building two different purpose units, as opposed to the Elves doing the same but technically they get 3 unlocks . . . I’m not bitter. 


Palace Guard

Photo credit: Jefferson Jay Thacker

Adam – 8/10
Mainly take in the horde profile. Great nerve and damage output. This is one of the best infantry hordes in the game when it comes to hammers. Benefits well from magic items and loves a Bane Chant backing it up. That being said, it is a glass hammer. This unit will take a lot of focus fire and double charges. If supported correctly, this unit is well worth it’s points and will likely see play for most every elf army out there.

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Keith – 7/10
Hordes 8/10; Regiments 6/10; Troops 4/10 (I’ve gone for 7/10 as the score for the averages, because who ever takes troops of anything? 😛 – Elliot)
Messing with Elliot’s averages just to be obstinate.  Palace Guard come as hordes the vast majority of the time.  Twenty-five attacks with CS 1 and Elite can grind with almost anything – even after taking a charge.  Add damage items (Strength, Vicious, Sharpness) and they will obliterate anything they touch, or add nerve items (Fury; Headstrong) and they will stick around and serve as a solid Ham-vil.  Having Bane Chant around is also highly recommended.

Hordes don’t quite get a 9 or 10 because at Def 4 they are still squishy, and without Monsters/Titans, Elves cannot benefit from the full unlocks of an infantry horde.

Recommended Items: Brew of Strength; Chant of Hate; Brew of Sharpness; Chalice of Wrath; Dwarven Ale; Staying Stone; Mace of Crushing (basically anything).

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 9/10
In horde form, they can be an absolute monster. Popular items include Brew of Strength, Brew of Sharpness or Pathfinder to get them through terrain. 22/24 is an excellent nerve stat defensively too. Regiment and troop forms are solid too and aren’t bad additions to virtually any list.

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Tom – 8.5/10
A big step up from their sister units the Palace Guard for me straddle 8-9 score. They’re cheap enough with great nerve at regiment and troop unit sizes, a steep cost for the horde option but Jesus 22-24 nerve as a horde is insane even with Def4. Likewise offensively 25 elite Me3 CS1 attacks base is terrifying, slap the Vicious or Sharpness items on them and they can mince anything in one round. They do slightly different jobs at all unit sizes and all can have their place in a balanced list. You don’t need them in your list but I think the novelty of an elite Elven infantry horde is a powerful draw and will likely also be your tankiest unit. An excellent core to your army.


Kindred Archers

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Adam – 8/10
I may be alone in this, but here is my very controversial opinion… Kindred Archers are still great! …(Allow a long pause for raging)… Everyone remembers how OP the archer horde with Piercing was backed up by Bane Chant. You could delete a whole unit in one turn of shooting with that unit alone. I took it and so did everyone else. This unit is obviously not the same, but if you can let go of what they use to be and see what they are now you too can see the greatness that Kindred Archers still are!

This unit should only be taken in regiments. (horde shooting is gone and if you want an MSU army full of troops have at it.) 120 points for their profile is well under costed. D4 (that’s higher than average) Me5 (that’s better than average) 14/16, Solid! Compared to other small arms fire regiments they are just better. And yes we pay the price when comparing to the other units, but did I forget to mention they unlock? Before the most recent CoK update they were one of the only small arms ranged units that did this. Also, they are THE CHEAPEST UNLOCKING UNIT IN THE ARMY!!! (now that Drakons unlock this is not such a big deal, but we will get to them later) I say every army should have 1-2 regiments easy.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Keith – 1/10
This unit may have directly led to my highly-public meltdown on CounterCharge.  Elven archers in the lore should not hit on 5s, full stop.  This unit makes no sense at any size.  Yes they are Defence 4 and have decent nerve – but…they…don’t…do…anything.  In an elite army, every unit has to be putting out damage or scaring your opponent into thinking they will put out damage.  Archers now do nothing except stand around waiting to die – and hoping the clock runs out.

Photo credit: Saul Ben Smith

Mike – 6/10
How the mighty have fallen! Ok chaff in troop form, and can be a decently priced unlock as regiments. Sadly I don’t think the horde is worth the points. Shooting not being able to be Bane Chanted, the piercing item and RA4 was a nerf too far for these guys unfortunately.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Tom – 6/10
Goblins in dresses. What can I say, they’re super cheap, their statline is pretty good on paper defensively and they shoot barely better than Goblin Spitters. They aren’t really a proper ranged unit anymore, they don’t feel like elves and I apologise for me and the other Elf players in 2nd edition making use of the hordes with items and Bane Chant etc which annoyed people enough that they got nerfed with both a RA drop, Bane Chant dropping from ranged attacks and ranged items removed completely. Those three nerfs essentially killed the spirit of the 2nd edition powerhouse archers, these are a pale imitation.

They’re a solid choice in your army however for that price, no denying it, I just think they’re boring . . . I’m bitter about this one.

Photo credit: Jefferson Jay Thacker

Kindred Gladestalkers

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Adam – 5/10
This unit is a complete BAIT!! Do not fall for this trap!!

Now that they unlock they are not the worst unit in the list. If they were still irregular they would get a 1/10. These guys are just too expensive for what they do. They fill the same role as the Archers, but have better damage output for 55 more points… they are not worth 55 more points. On top of that, they are Defence 3 and have the same nerve as Archers. Anyone with Lightning Bolt will pick this unit off easy. I know they have some up sides and that is why I gave them a 5/10, but I will not be taking Gladestalkers over Archers ever.

Keith – 7/10
Now that they unlock, Gladestalkers can be a solid mainline unit.  Steady Aim, Pathfinder, Elite, 4+ Ra, and 24” shooting is an effective shooting source that, added to other shooting options, forces your opponent to respect your shooting.  With the proliferation of trash/MSU armies in third, efficient shooting can spread plinky damage and tear through light defense armies that are more common.  They will struggle with high defense targets, but with Scout, Steady Aim, and 24” range, you can get them into a position to shooting softer targets.  And, as an added bonus they are also ME 4+ and Elite, so your opponent can’t ignore them.

Recommended Items: Fire Oil

Mike – 6/10
Have some nice abilities, with Pathfinder, Steady Aim and Scout. However Steady Aim can be cost burden as generally you’ll want to Scout into a forest and stay there, meaning the unit is paying for an ability it will rarely use. Defence 3 also means they’ll die if anything looks too closely at them. Regiments can be worth considering, especially now they unlock, but it hurts when they die with their cost. Expensive and too easy to kill in troop form in my view.

Tom – 6/10
Thanks to the buff making them regular there’s now a reason to take the actual real Elven shooting unit. I mean they’re ok at shooting, ok in a fight and Scout with Steady Aim will keep them relevant. They got far cheaper in 3rd ed which was great but this unit still suffers from being quite expensive overall for a unit with Def3 and a preponderance to getting shot off the board themselves since they aren’t Stealthy and present a juicy target for Lightning Bolt and Breath Attacks. You certainly can use them, they help with the unlocking problem Elves have, I just think they may be too frail for their cost overall.


Therennian Sea Guard

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 7/10
I have not played with them much, but since their points were decreased these guys should see more play. I think they are correctly costed for what you get now.

Keith – 6/10
With the points deduct, this unit has potential.  A Unit Strength 3 shooting regiment is unique – I have admittedly not tried this unit yet, but I can see a situation where I use the regiment as a cheapish unlock over Gladestalkers.

Mike – 5/10
It is always challenging to balance units that can fight in melee and shoot. Too cheap and they’ll be spammed, but too expensive and you’ll rarely see them. The points reduction from the last FAQ definitely helps, but Seaguard are unfortunately still lacking something for their points cost in my opinion. As it stands I’d rather pass on the rather lacklustre shooting and just take Tallspears that have the extra attacks and are cheaper. Something like straight up Elite would be a step in the right direction for this unit.

Tom – 4/10
I think I’m responsible for what happened here. Nobody used them in 2nd ed as a competitive choice but I got great mileage with the old Bane Chant (3), Elite and Nimble when it conferred Steady Aim to build up the support to make them worthwhile compared to a second Archer horde which was far cheaper and nearly as good anyway. Since then they may have got a price drop and become regular taking them from a score of 1-2 at the start of 3rd to a solid 4 but I still don’t think they’re worth your time. Not good enough in a fight compared to other options, not good enough at shooting for their cost, the support items and means to raise them up are completely gone so why bother? I like the style of unit they represent but can’t justify running these.


Hunters of the Wild

Adam – 5/10
Decent melee unit. Good number of attacks, Pathfinder, and Scouts. No Elite or Crushing however. I haven’t used them, but they seem to fill a very unique role in the army as more of a support/thicc chaff almost. Does not unlock, otherwise I would rate higher.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Keith – 3/10
Not elite.  Doesn’t unlock.  Doesn’t do any damage in combat.  I never take them.

Mike – 4/10
I want to like these guys.. but don’t. Scout and Pathfinder are nice but they’re slow (for Elves), lack any CS or TC, no Elite and slightly underpar nerve (again, for Elves) with no waver mitigation. A rule and/or stat increase short currently.

Tom – 5/10
I quite like these. They’re different enough from the Elf infantry bringing a number of different stats and rules. Compare them to Shield Watch and 15 Me3 is pretty similar to 12 Me4 Elite, defensively they’re the same however you’re getting Scout and Pathfinder for one less speed and larger base. All that said the minor utility benefits don’t add up to much on the tabletop a recurring theme with Elf infantry but a nice partner unit for Forest Shamblers or Tree Herders that other line infantry can’t match. 


Stormwind Cavalry

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Adam – 8/10
Little known fact, Stormwind Cav are one of the best cav units in the game! The reason why is because they are Speed 9 and Elite. They don’t have Crushing, but Bane Chant can help with that. These are the perfect cav for Elves playing an alpha strike build. Why don’t we see these guys too often? Well, Drakons is why.. (keep reading…)

Keith – 6/10
Stormwind Cavalry are really good cavalry.  They are faster than most and they are Elite.  But, their nerve as a regiment (14/16) doesn’t grind or stand-up well to concentrated shooting, and there are few instances where I wouldn’t recommend finding 60 points to get Drakon Riders.  They do have that ability to get cheap versions of some of the better items…but again you are just getting closer to Drakon points costs by giving them items…

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
Solid unit but probably slightly outshone by Drakons now that the latter unlock when taken in hordes, and can fly, hit harder and have better nerve. Still, a Stormwind regiment with Pathfinder can be a decent flanking threat that cant be ignored, although the 14/16 nerve can mean they waver fairly easily to any counterpunch so don’t expect them to stick around. Haven’t tried them in troop form and not sure I ever will…

Tom – 5/10
Fast heavy cav with Elite to aid rubber lance syndrome is lovely. However 14/16 with no Waiver or damage mitigation, little grind ability while being very expensive has always put me off. I have honestly never ran this unit, I think those drawbacks are too great personally but wholly accept that’s personal preference and that these guys really are a solid unit. Plus it’s an unlock that isn’t two variants of Elven melee or ranged infantry wearing different masks so woo!  I think internally Drakons regaining regular has hurt their position, dropping from a 6 to a 5.


Silverbreeze Cavalry

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Adam – 9/10
Ohhh boy! Where to start?

For those of you that don’t know, I made my name as an Elf player in 2nd edition playing 5+ troops of Silverbreeze Cav (before they were good). Back then a troop costed 145 points, now they are 130. They must have been nerfed right? Yeah, they use to be 24″ range, now they are 18″. They use to be flat Elite, now just Elite (Ranged). Those changes are unfortunate… BUT did you know these bad boys now come in a regiment!?!?! AND they are Me4 instead of Me5! (mitigates the loss of Elite (Melee)).

These guys are my favourite unit in the game and the reason why I play Elves. Mobility is key in this game and these guys are the best at it. Sit them on a hill to shoot and threaten a charge (gain the TC(1) coming off the hill). Run them down a flank threatening the potential charge (forcing your opponent to turn and respect them because 28 attacks in the flank will hurt). Do this and more all while shooting 14 Elite Ra4+ shots that will clear out chaff and on a Height 3 profile you can even threaten that squishy 10/12 standard bearer or wizard behind the infantry lines.

This unit is unique. It is not a hammer, anvil, or chaff. In the right hands this unit is a scalpel that allows you to slowly pick apart the opponents army. This allows for every other unit to do its job.

I currently take 1 troop and 2 regiments. Would recommend 🙂

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Keith – 7/10
Silverbreeze are good, borderline really good – but they are far from broken because they are expensive.  You can go all in on them (see Ballard, Adam), or they can be a good support units, but if you spend too much on Silverbreeze you are vulnerable to high defence armies.  Used wisely they can be dominating, but much like many Elven units, even a slight misplay can lead to them disappearing. 

Notably, the shorter range shooting (18”) compared to Second Edition means they can get exposed to fast counters much easier.

Mike – 7/10
Seen as a potential standout unit at the start of third edition, Silverbreeze are a decent unit in either troop or regiment form. They are mobile, and provide accurate shooting with ra4 and Elite (ranged). They are also ok in melee with me4 (although no Elite). A defence of 4 is also good for a light cavalry unit, although a nerve of 11/13 on the troop and 14/16 on the regiment means they need to be handled carefully.

Tom – 6/10
Vastly improved from 2nd ed thanks to a points drop and the ability to take regiments along with Me4 offsetting losing the Elite to become Elite (ranged) only. These are chaff in a pinch, fast AF and surprisingly durable at 11/13 Def4. They can’t be ignored on a flank charge either so can do a good job of projecting some threat, support and match fliers for speed. Dropping to short bows hurts as it means they have to be in range of Speed 9 to shoot them so requires a bit more thought but still a nuisance at all stages of the game. My main issues is it’s another relatively expensive unit that doesn’t unlock as a regiment and they get outranged by 24” shooting. If I wanted to build these into a list I’d be looking at Sylvan Kin with the Deathroot arrow upgrade.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Battlecats

Adam – 7/10
Fine chaff. They are no Needlefangs, Gargoyles, or Snow Foxes. But they will do.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 5/10
Battlecats are the cheapest US in the Elven army…and that’s about it.  Battlecats serve better as chaff for foot troops – the 7 inch move won’t keep up with normal or flying cavalry, but it is fast enough to stand behind a line of troops and rush out to interrupt charges.  I guess I understand why they aren’t faster – give Elves cheap fast (Speed 9/10) chaff and the army would be very hard to match.

Photo credit: Dan Zarembski

Mike – 5/10
Not a terrible unit by any means, I just find they don’t really have a place in lists that I put together. A defence of 2 means they evaporate if given any attention, and they also lack Pathfinder for moving quickly through terrain. I’d pass on these for other chaff options like Forest Shamblers, Archer troops or Forest guard troops.

Tom – 4/10
Half the time I forget these exist, the rest of the time I lament they’re not Sylvan Kin Gur Panthers. Not fast enough for your alpha strikers, a bit weak and redundant for your infantry. Elves have always for me been capable at the anti chaff game and Forest Shambler regiments do the thicc chaff role so don’t see this lots purpose. Maybe they’re fine if you have the left over points.


Forest Shamblers

Photo credit: Jefferson Jay Thacker

Adam – 7/10
Regiments are good thicc chaff. Hordes do not unlock, so not sure why you would take them. If large infantry regiments still unlocked like they did last edition these guys would be a 9+ easy.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 6/10
Forest Shamblers are a useful core unit to a battleline.  Regiments are cheap enough to throw away but can also serve as thicc chaff.  However, the fact that they are irregular in the Elven army, an army struggling for unlocks as it is, makes them an imperfect add.  In sum, they can be useful, but not an auto-include.

Photo credit: Dan Zarembski

Mike – 7/10
A useful unit in the elf list in regiment form, able to provide a thicc chaff role in an army not known for its toughness. Less useful in horde format.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Tom – 6/10
It’s an unlocking unit that isn’t infantry! (Sorry Tom, not in Elves it isn’t – Elliot) The regiments of these guys are great thicc chaff thanks to fearless Def 5 Pathfinder and Scout. Hordes are unreasonably expensive when compared to their compatriot elementals, Zombie Trolls or Butchers. They can’t really fight without expensive point investment, being technically worse in combat than Ogre Boomers, a shooting unit. They’re great to run alongside a Tree Herder though and you can technically Surge them with Scout mitigating the Shambling defect to a point. A 10 point increase from 2nd ed for a unit I already thought was 5-10 points overpriced as a horde hurts though . . . Maybe they should be a 5/10?


War Chariots

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 1/10
We all knew the chariot nerf was coming, they flew too close to the sun. And they sure as hell nerfed them good. All you have to do is compare the chariots to Stormwind and Silverbreeze and you will see point for point chariots are never worth it. The only thing they have going for them is their nerve, but a bad unit surviving longer does not make up for still being a bad unit.

Photo credit: Rafici Rafici

Keith – 3/10
Outside of pure combat chariots, I can’t think of one chariot unit that is compelling in Third.  These chariots are no exception.  Chariots thrived in Second because they were multi-purpose units that could perform both roles (combat and ranged) at 80% of the similarly pointed specialists (archers and Stormwind Cav); but in Third, they can’t match that utility.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 5/10
Not a unit I’ve used much in third edition, my comments regarding Seaguard also apply here i.e. you’re paying a lot for pretty ineffectual ranged attacks, and there are pure melee units that are better in the same role (Drakons, and even Stormwind).

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Tom – 2/10
Terrible unit, giant base, poor shooting, meh combat, and very vulnerable to counter fire.  Victim of the item and Bane Chant nerf along with their tbh fair whack on their ranged attack stats. They’re in a horrid place though as a result of both hits.


Drakon Riders

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Adam – 10/10
This is why you play Elves! Drakons are THE BEST hammer in the game, no question.

While every other flying hammer got nerfed hard going into 3rd, Drakons remained on top with the CS(1) TC(1) and Fly speed 10. Imo, they were always top of the flying hammer food chain because of their consistency with having Elite. Drakons have always been a solid 9/10, until the CoK update to make them unlock again! Elves struggled sooooo much with unlocks before this. With this change 10/10 easy!

Any competitive list will have 2 hordes and I suggest taking Pathfinder and Strider for magic items.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Keith – 8/10
Drakons are the premier alpha strike unit in Third.  The only flying combat unit left with both CS(1) and TC (1) (suck it Elohi), Drakons are expensive but pack a huge punch.  With the right artefacts, Drakons put out unmatched damage.  A trailing Bane Chant can also ensure huge damage even to high defence enemies.  Also, don’t underestimate having Unit Strength 3 on a speed 10 flying platform.  A late charge or strategic movement can win many scenarios with that kind of US.

BUT – Drakons have the same weaknesses they have always had – they simply cannot grind.  Even as a horde, the 15/17 nerve can get wavered super easily.  Once a Drakon Horde gets bogged down in combat or gets 4-5 wounds from shooting they become very fragile.

Recommended Artefacts: Brew of Sharpness (enjoy 1 shotting 21/23 def 4 hordes); Brew of Strength; J-Boots, Pathfinder; Mace of Crushing; Blade of Slashing

Photo credit: Jason Birr

Mike – 9/10
Elite, Fly, speed 10, CS1, TC1, me3. Lots to like about this unit, and even more so now that they are regular! They aren’t cheap, and losing Nimble did hurt their manoeuvrability, but they are still a gold standard unit. Hordes are the go to option, although I think they have some game in regiment form too (just have to watch the 13/15 nerve on a 170 point unit).

Tom – 8/10
This is why you play Elves. I love these guys, a bit vulnerable but they are the poster boy for the Elven alpha strike archetype. 18 Me3 Elite with CS1 TC1 hits hard, I loved these in 2nd ed, in 3rd losing nimble sucks but they were a 9/10 or 10/10 in 2nd ed so this is fair. A good player will mitigate the nerf well enough and maximise it’s improved defence and grinding capacity over Stormwind. Now they unlock again (woo!) they’ve slid in above Stormwind doing their job a little better in every way. With the rise of Phalanx and pikemen they need to be a bit more careful overall but the ability to project threat across the battlefield, over hills and far away is invaluable in an otherwise infantry sodden roster.

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Bolt Thrower

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 6/10
Not much to say here. I don’t like stationary warmachines that do not ignore cover. Hitting on 4’s with Elite is nice, but in the long run a non scoring unit that does not pose a threat for large burst (like some other warmachines) is not worth it. There are better options in the list.

Keith – 4/10
Like other bolt throwers, it just isn’t good enough for the points.  Kind of shame since it means that Elves don’t have meaningful warmachine unlocks.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
Nothing flashy about this war machine, it puts out fairly reliable damage with ra4 and Elite with Piercing 2. Don’t expect it to obliterate units like a Balefire or Angkor Heavy Mortar, but one or two can pair up nicely with something like a mage with Lightning Bolt and Boomstick for some good ranged damage.

Photo credit: Dan Zarembski

Tom – 4/10
Not enough damage, fairly expensive, can’t exploit indirect fire so deployment is harder and takes up an unlock in a list starved for them if you’re running regiments. Get yourself a lightning wizard instead, far better.


Dragon Breath

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Adam – 8/10
Love these guys! Lots of shots with Elite and an 18″ threat (6″ move 12″ shoot) is great. In my list they double as chaff to prevent double charges on my infantry horde. They work great as they usually go down in a blaze of glory. This unit really shines in a stand off against slower units (speed 5 or less). You get multiple volleys off before they get into you and if they are still alive, the melee unit backing it up has easy clean up duty.

Keith – 5/10
Others like this unit better than I do – it can serve as chaff and a mobile weapon platform that you have to respect.  But – it’s not super useful against high defence, and it’s expensive.  I typically prefer spending points on Unit Strength (or heroes).

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 6/10
Can struggle to keep up with the lines given it can’t move at the double, and going from 15 to 12 shots at the start of the edition also hurt. Can put out decent damage if given the chance, especially against defence 3 or 4 units, and also not a bad chaff piece late game as enemy units can’t overrun through them.

Tom – 3/10
Another victim of 3rd ed. The breath attack nerf means this guy can’t scare Stealthy, Individual stuff. It also lost 3 shots for an already vulnerable war engine that doesn’t get individual like some of its competitors. I can’t justify it anymore and I used to have one as an auto include in 2nd ed as support to the core twin hordes of Seaguard and Archers able to chaff for them and throw out a scary amount of shots, especially back when Elf Mages nearby had 10 fireball and the Dragon with Boots of Levitation had 15 more Elite breath on tap. A pity but save your points and get a mage same as above.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Tree Herder

Adam – 8/10
Tree Herders are a great addition to most armies. With Defence 6 and built in healing with Radiance of Life this unit makes a perfect anvil for the centre of your lines. I don’t see him played much in Elves outside of infantry spam builds. There are not many units in the army that compliment his play style of long, drawn out, grindy combats. Elves are very much a glass cannon army. I still give this guy an 8/10 because he can do so much by himself. You will always get value out of Def 6 tank.

Keith – 7/10
Herders are great – they are small anvil with a serious punch in a 50 mm base.  They work best in infantry lists where they can provide inspiring and healing from the midst of the fighting.

But – the Radiance of Life is less useful in an army full of Def 4 and the synergy of the Herder isn’t as useful for Elves as it is for Nature with tons of Def 5 and 6.

Mike – 10/10
Defence 6, Inspiring source, Radiance of Life, Crushing Strength 3, -18 nerve, Scout, Pathfinder, Strider. So much to like about this unit makes it one of the standout choices in the game. It provides a great focal point for the other units to work around with its great defensive stats, while also providing some much needed punch in combat. All while healing itself and other units with Radiance of Life! Popular items include Aegis of the Elohi for Iron Resolve or Hann’s Sanguinary Scripture for Lifeleech (1), both of which stack nicely with Radiance of Life and make him even harder to shift.

Tom – 8/10
I love this guy! Isn’t it just the coolest not a dragon monster? Give him haste for a first turn charge potential of 28” Def6 Fearless with Radiance of Life, absolute unit. One of the biggest winners in 3rd ed Elves, Pathfinder and Strider means he’s always bringing 9 Me3 CS3  attacks to bear and on a 50mm base he’ll be an absolute bastard for your opponent to nail down and kill. Pairs up well with the support from your regular Scouting unlockers (again, not in Elves, sorry Tom – Elliot) making up for their somewhat poor performance individually and fits into an alpha list as a capable anvil and Scout letting you push up the board quickly; not invulnerable but pretty damn close. Only thing letting him down is he is very chaffable without nimble and unlike the dragons that his offensive stat line mirrors, he won’t be as capable at getting flanks and projecting threat is harder with the lowered manoeuvrability. 


Elven King

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 6/10
The King is just too many points for what he does. 100 points base, but most the time you want a mount, so tack on another 35. And he doesn’t come with Duelist, you have to pay another 10. Then the coolest thing about this guy is you can upgrade him with the Shardblade [1] to hit on 2+ Melee (with Elite)!!! That is awesome!

Sadly, by the time you have built a true Elven King he costs as much as a vampire with less attacks(sure hitting on 2+ with Elite makes up for that), less Nerve, and no Life Leech. Elves have better character options to spend their points on.

Keith – 6/10
I’m sure others will talk up the King, but he is crazy expensive.  135 points mounted (and why take him on foot) is pricey in an army of pricey toys.  And what role does he play?  Flyer defense?  Why not just take better flyers than your opponent? Inspiring – sure – but there are cheaper more efficient options.  Extra punch?  Maybe find 35 points and bring a Drakon Lord – then at least you have US?  I’m sure others play this unit well, but I prefer to spend my points elsewhere.

The Shardblade is cool – but then he is 150 points…and again why? I guess he can hunt characters, but so can Lightning Bolts…

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
Can get expensive if you give him all the toys (mount, hunting cat, the Shard Blade and a magic item). Still a useful hero that can semi reliably land a flyer or disorder an enemy cavalry unit with 5 x Elite, me2 and CS1 attacks.

Tom – 6/10
His upgrades are cool, Duelist and Me2+ item but I find unlocks are an issue and he’s not potent enough, becoming very expensive once tooled up fully. A good piece overall but not very exciting personally.


Lord on Drakon

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 7/10
A decent substitute for a dragon if you need to spare some points. Nothing too flashy here. Typically ran with Drakons for Inspiring + a little extra punch.

Keith – 6/10
I have shit on the Lord on Drakon regularly…but I do think he has a purpose – flying Unit Strength for winning scenarios.  However, he is pricey.  Compare him at 170 points against the flying Beast of Nature with 7 attacks at 205.  The Beast has significantly better nerve, and Pathfinder makes it much more useful.

I’m not saying don’t take Drakon Lords, but when you can ally in cheaper flying US – maybe do that? Would love to see Drakon Lords getting an aura, or some other reason to take them.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
13/15 nerve is a little shaky on something that can carry a fairly large bullseye, and can feel overpriced when he wagers or dies. Still, can be a nice flanking threat if played carefully.

Tom – 5/10
The baby dragon has similar problems as the King, not potent enough for his pretty high cost and almost always ends up with you asking if you want to use up the unlocks rather than finding points for the Drakon horde, Dragon, Tree Herder etc. Just not quite good enough or resilient enough at anything to entice me I’m afraid, never has been.

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Elven Prince

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 6/10
This character’s job would be to ground fliers. If your elf army struggles with flies, mount one of these guys and you won’t have that problem any more. Other than that don’t take him.

Keith – 5/10
Sigh – poor Princes.  I used to love princes as chaff, but there’s not really a place for them anymore, mostly due to unlock issues.  Also, without being mighty, their utility as chaff is lessened. 

Also – this might be a good time to talk about duelling cats – how dumb is that for an army-wide add-on?  Duellist is an intriguing rule – but you might take it on a King – but nothing else.  Give me back my throwing cats!

Mike – 5/10
Pretty decent stats on paper for the price (80 points as you’re always mounting him!), only problem is fitting him in to a rare spare hero slot once you’ve filled it with a Dragon, Tree Herder, Mages, Kings etc. Can be an ok Swiss Army knife if given Inspiring item and Hunting Cat for helping Inspire your units, reliably disorder enemy casters in melee and unreliably land flyers.

Tom – 6/10
While slightly more expensive than the exceptional Kingdoms of Men version and without the invaluable Indomitable Will (valued at the low low price of 5pts) this lad with a mount for just 80 points is a Def 5 11/13 Speed 9 chaff piece and he’s really good at it. Elite helps with the low economy of attacks with him not being Mighty and the slightly higher speed helps to keep the fliers at bay. Honestly he’s solid and much maligned. I compare him to the KoM hero as for the same price with Indomitable Will the KoM version gets to Inspire himself and become Fearless when he needs it, which is a leap in versatility and reliability even with one less nerve. The other issue as mentioned many a time is unlocks. I often when mucking about with elf lists couldn’t justify him and the low amount of attacks is still a scare if you’re relying on him to disorder a flier since 3 attacks is very fluffable. If Elves didn’t have the unlock problem I’d rate him 1-2 points higher as 2 of these whizzing about would be a right nuisance and he’s good value!


Army Standard Bearer

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 8/10
Like any other ASB a cheap source of inspiring. Although our ASB is about 10 points more than the average because he has Elite for his 1 attack… I mean, why?? It doesn’t even work on magic items anymore. None the less, take one with the Lute and cheap inspiring with BC(2).

Keith – 4/10
They are ok…but…I usually take only 2 sources of inspiring, and even with the Lute or Boomstick, probably more efficient to take the inspiring talisman on an Archmage.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 6/10
Inspires and carries the Lute of Insatiable Darkness as well as any other standard bearer. Note that his Elite is now melee only, so no Elite casting of Bane Chant!

Tom – 6/10
It’s a standard bearer, give it the Lute and carry on. Bit more expensive than other faction’s equivalents as you’re paying the Elf tax for Speed 6, nerve and Elite which it doesn’t need especially since it can’t use it on the Lute anymore. It amounts to a necessity in some lists but marginally cost ineffective and again, eats an unlock.


Elven Archmage

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 9/10
Great addition to any elf army! I love that you can customize this mage however you like and that you are not paying for a base spell. Fairly priced, and giving the Elf mage Elite for her spells really sets her apart from other wizards in the game. This makes Elf magic feel like it should have all along. The Rules Committee really nailed this character. (until we realize spellcaster levels do matter at some point in the future and then they really fucked up for not making ELF MAGES spellcaster level3!!) But until then, great job!! 🙂

I run one mage mounted with Lighting Bolt and the Boomstick!!

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 8/10
So before we get to my discussion of the benefits of this unit, let’s talk a minute about Spellcaster Level.  Elven Archmages have a special rule call “Master of Magic”.  As I’m sure you know, this makes Elven Archmages Elite for their standard spells – which is an awesome rule.

BUT – at the same time, they are only Spellcaster Level 2 which is inexplicably not the highest Spellcaster Level?  So…instead of masters of magic, they are kind of generally good at magic? The special rule should be call Yeomen of Magic, or Mediocres of Magic

Anyway, now that Drakons and Gladestalkers unlock, the Archmage battery is a Thing.  The DuracelfTM (3 mages with 18 LB (including Boomstick) and the Conjurer’s Staff) is a super-efficient, and super survivable battery that can take out chaff and mainline units.  With the Duracelf, and unlocking efficient shooting, Elves can once again compete for best shooting army, and the proliferation of MSU armies will have to adapt.

Oh, and you can probably also develop an army based upon 15 heal, but that seems less fun to me.  And don’t forget to throw a Bane Chant on your mage with the Conjurer’s Staff.  Archmages comes without spells standard, so you don’t have to pay for anything you don’t want – which is a rarity in this elite army.

Recommended Artefacts: Boomstick; Conjurer’s Staff

Recommended Spells: Lightning Bolt (obviously); Heal; Hex

Horse optional.

Mike – 8/10
Comes without spells, which is good as it means you can build them however you like without paying for spells you don’t want or won’t use. An Archmage with Lightning Bolt and Boomstick (taking them to a juicy Lightning Bolt (8) with Elite) is one of the most cost effective choice in the Elf list. Being able to take Heal 7 (with heal upgrade and Shroud of the Saint) can also be useful in a list that is usually elite and lower in numbers than its opponents, and having Elite on your bane chant is nice for when you really need it.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Tom – 8/10
A quality tool box wizard. Now again you pay 60pts over the 50 that other factions do like Kingdoms of Men or Undead who both get Lighting Bolt (3) and Surge (6) respectively at that price point which does raise questions as to why the Elf one is 10 points more? BUT Master of Magic means you get Elite on your spells, which was often lorded as the best faction ability back in 2nd ed. The spells they do get as well may be more expensive but you get some quality and quantity for the cost. Lightning 5 is 35pts running a base wizard to 95 but at that cost he’s more effective than a Bolt Thrower or a Dragon Breath so throw those two out. With the Boomstick he’s scary at LB8 Elite, meaning compared to KoM you’d need 3 wizards to match that lightning output (2 with a boomstick lets be fair) and that’s more expensive and eats more unlocks overall. A second only adds to this so I’ve seen many high level Elf lists invest in 2-3 mages for some tremendous firepower from 18 Elite lightning at the top end.

Conversely, you can pull the same with heal and the Shroud, racking up some serious damage mitigation in a list with so little. My main issue is that the cost can quickly spiral out of control. You may build him to do everything but you will pay for it so typically keeping it simple, Heal/Lightning and Bane Chant is solid but all the Mage’s spells can be worked into a list in some format or another. That high initial buy in (clearly discrimination against elves) is the very thing stopping these guys hitting the 9s and 10s.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Dragon Kindred Lord

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Adam – 9/10
The CoK update was just what Elves needed to get back on top. Before the update, our Dragon Lord was a sad 2nd place dragon to the stupid Basilian Dragon.. Fearless dragon, Really…? But now that Fearless dragons(wyrms) are only a thing for the Undead factions, Elves are back on top! How? you might ask? It is simple, Elite. I hope everyone is seeing a pattern here with all of the 9+ units Elves have. They are all good units with above average stat lines, but then you give them Elite and they become Elf tier! The more consistent these units can be the better they fill their roles. And as I said before, Elves are on top for Alpha strike. The combination of speed and power with finesse and shooting makes this dragon lord the perfect addition to every Elf army.

I advise only taking 1. If you want to take 2 just take more Drakon hordes 🙂

Keith – 8/10
I love Dragons.  Are they the killing machines they were in Second?  No.  But the psychological factor of a flying beat stick is unparalleled.  You can win a game without charging with a Dragon Kindred Lord.  Send them in with a horde of Drakons, and not much in the game can survive that combo charge. 

Mike – 8/10
Still one of the better big flyers in the game, with Elite, a decent breath attack and solid nerve. The main challenge is fitting both a dragon and a Tree Herder in the one list and not leaving yourself too short on drops!

Tom – 7/10
Half the reason we play Elves. Again somewhat fairly hit in 3rd ed with it losing 3 breath and downgrading to the new breath attack, compared to old version which was essentially fireball. It also lost Elite on the breath attack which sucks along with the soft nerfs to heavy fliers that have piled up over the years. I would like to add they deserved it, they ruled the roost for years, the super heavy fliers now feel much fairer. He’s only a 7 because 315 is damned expensive and that matters in the expensive Elf roster. He also does stack up well alongside equivalents in other factions; the Abyssal Dwarf version gets regeneration, the Basilian gets waiver mitigation Iron Resolve and a 5 pointt must take item, Void Lurkers are cheap as hell, Vampires get to be Undead and also Lifeleech (2). There’s many little reasons why the other dragon variants have crept up and surpassed the elf one in some form or another but these are minor overall for what still is a scary powerhouse unit which will force opponents to adapt to this model alone.

Little bit bitter about the nerf to his shooting, the ability in 2nd to take Boots of Levitation, fly 20” turn one and breath 15 Elite fire ignoring individual etc was scary.


Noble War Chariot

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 1/10
No. For the points take Silverbreeze. It’s just bad.

Keith – 6/10
Decent chaff.  Kind of squishy. 

Mike – 5/10
Ah the poor chariot hero. Like other elf units, its shooting got hit very hard. And only 3 melee attacks means even in the flank it will struggle to do much damage. Still, it’s pretty cheap and has a unit strength so that’s something.

Tom – 3/10
Oh another victim of 3rd ed. I loved this guy in 2nd but since then he’s got more expensive, slower, less attacks and shorter bow range. This took a fun utility piece, an active unit on the board in any stage of the game and made him worse at all those things and then priced him out of my list. It’s not like he was setting the world on fire before and he’s a damp towel at this point. Shame as I had a really cool Wood Elf Lord on Giant Stag model which was epic as a stand in.


Madriga the Elf

Adam – 8/10
Very fun and interesting character. Has some good utility too. I would say she is competing for a spot in the army similar to a Lightning Bolt Mage (same range and about the same damage output). I would love to have seen her have Duelist, but she is reasonable points wise for what she does.

Keith – 6/10
Madriga is interesting.  Piercing 2, Trick Shot (blast D6 – one time shot), Scout, Stealthy, Ra 3+.  Seems a compelling profile…but just take an Archmage with Lighting Bolt (8) and you do more damage over 6 turns.

Mike – 6/10
Not a bad hero by any means, but again can be hard to find a hero spot for her. Her Trick Shot can be decent if you get lucky and lacklustre if you are unlucky. Only Inspiring herself does limit her value somewhat, although Scout and speed 7 is quite a nice combo for getting her into careless enemy shooting hordes or war machines.

Tom – 4/10
Wanna shoot? Get a Lightning wizard instead. He can’t fight all that good and his special ability is cool but losing Vicious on the bow stings, I used him in 2nd as he was a good annoyance unit but think his time is currently over. Maybe with general inspiring I could make an exception but if you like the idea of him go look at Sylvan Kin instead.


Tydarion Dragonlord

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Adam – 9/10
Copy and paste everything under the Dragon Lord above. If you were taking a Dragon lord and have 30 points to spare Tydarion is well worth upgrading to. For those 30 points you get +1 Nerve, Brutal, +1 CS, Elite (shooting), Very Inspiring, and +2 shots for breath attack. That is one hell of a value! I wish there was a 30 point item in the game that gave you all these upgrades… Every army would have it!

I am a big fan! I am currently running him in my army.

Keith – 8/10
Tydarion is the big daddy of Dragon Lords.  For an extra 30 points you get an extra nerve, very inspiring, brutal, an extra crushing strength – which is a steal.  But – you don’t often have that 30 points, so if you can afford him, great, if you can’t, take a Dragon Kindred Lord and enjoy.

Mike – 8/10
For 30 points more than a Dragon Kindred Lord you get an extra nerve, Brutal, CS4 instead of CS3 and Very Inspiring. Generally worth it if you have the points (and you really don’t like fighting Defence 6 units!).

Tom – 6/10
On paper, a buffer dragon with extra nerve, Brutal, CS4, Very Inspiring and general Elite for 30 points seems like a bargain. In reality you want those points for Boomsticks, Bane Chants, Brew of Strengths, better units etc. You lose the utility of being able to choose an upgrade on a base dragon too and often CS4 and Very Inspiring are wasted as his place isn’t on the main line of battle where your normal Inspiring is going to be anyway. Buy a normal Dragon, Mace of Crushing/ Staying Stone and you’re about as effective anyway, hell you could buy Sharpness for an equivalent cost but I feel making your Dragon even more expensive is a bit of a trap especially as they’re already going to get a lot of attention. At 2000 points Tydarion would be nearly 15% of your army and that becomes hard to justify and even more dangerous if he dies early on as Dragons attract that sort of attention. Likewise if Dragons can often be nullified until late game by cut price alternatives such as fast individuals, compounding on that cost. He is at least the buffest dragon you can buy which is something the superior Elven race appreciates (apart from Apaphys who is better because Undead are actually the best, unfortunately.)


Argus Rodinar

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Adam – 1/10
I truly believe this guy is the worst character in the whole game. All he does is inspire. For a few more points you could have an ASB that inspires and has BC(2). Argus is a Hero(Monster) THAT DOES NOT HAVE ANY UNIT STRENGTH!!! WTF!?!?!?! He is the only “monster” in the game without US!!… okay, that is a lie.. Dwarves have battle drillers, BUT AT LEAST THEY DO SOMETHING!!!

Sorry, I get frustrated when I even hear his name. Moving on!

Keith – 3/10
Really cool special rule – but…meh?

Mike – 4/10
Some people seem to like Argus but I’m not one of them. I prefer to take a couple of units that Inspire and keep my units in their bubbles than spend 70 points on a unit that does does nothing else. If it had a unit strength I’d definitely think differently!

Tom – 5/10
Again I quite like him, Elves can struggle with Inspiring sources and this lad is two for the price of nearly one. His ability lets you throw Inspiring on a unit which means on a long Elven battle line with your Dragon sweeping down one flank he can pick an infantry horde across the board and Inspire everything in 6” of that horde. That’s big, it lets you send Drakon hordes off alone because you’re safe knowing they’ll always be Inspired, you can amass Mages and not have to bother with the Inspiring Talisman because Argus can Inspire anything wherever you need it and now that he has a speed value in 3rd ed he can do the Standard Bearer job, and Individual, Def5 -/13 is pretty hard to shift. Issues are you’re buying him instead of another character so often taking the minor hit and giving that spare Mage the Talisman is more cost effective or a Standard Bearer can take the Lute for a little extra cost and is more relevant to the game overall. All that said, if you’re hard up on unlocks with units that range off on their own then bear him in mind, he’s a massive step up from 2nd


Nimue Waydancer

Adam – 7/10
Similar to Madriga, this is a very cool and unique special character. With the only source of Cloak of Death for elves (outside of allying in big papi Wiltfather – I got you covered Mr. Tom Anis 😉 Nimue can fill a role no one else could before in the elf army. I don’t have much practice with her to know how effective she is, but on paper I believe she is a solid option.

Keith – 5/10
Clock of Death is a super useful rule, and the ability to jump behind the enemy by moving 20” on one turn is intriguing – but unless you are designing a list around her, she is not an optimal choice.

Mike – 7/10
Quite a nice new addition to the Elf list with some decent tricks. Her Wanderer of the Ways ability can be handy for getting into the backfield where she can cause problems with her Fireball and Cloak of Death. Inspiring (Verdant only) isn’t overly useful, although given she is usually on solo missions it’s not the end of the world.

Tom – 3/10
A fairly pointless edition to elves as this one’s a Sylvan Kin character, just kind of tossed into their roster. Their ability to march and shoot with fly once a game is great and pairs up well with Cloak of Death BUT take a Mage with Boomstick instead, far more cost effective and often spells like Surge, Wind Blast and Fireball aren’t relevant while you pay possibly half price on them it’s still not a patch on Lightning Bolt, which is almost always relevant. That said Nimue will often have something to do, just likely not justifying the 150pt price tag which is why they fit in Sylvan Kin better along with Inspiring Verdant only making them a little redundant for Elves.


Summary

Overall average ratings /10: 6.0/10

Most agreed upon unit(s): Shield Watch, Forest Shamblers, Elven King, Archmage (1 point of difference between highest and lowest scores)

Least agreed upon unit(s): Kindred Archers (7 points of difference between highest and lowest scores)


beer

Elliot’s Beer Fund

If you’ve enjoyed the blog and you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a pint. Please dont feel any obligation to do so, I’ve started this blog because it’s fun, not to make any money. Any money received will go towards hosting costs. Or my beer fund… ok mainly my beer fund.

£3.00

Army Review: Trident Realm

While I am a big fan of the traditional army review format, they usually only show the opinion of one person playing in one particular meta. In reality even within the same gaming group there is often a lot of disagreement over which units are top tier and which leave a lot to be desired. So I decided to format these army reviews in a way that captures that debate.  

A massive thank you to Ben, Jeff, Michal and Pat for their help with this review.

The ‘Expert’ Panel

Ben
Hi, I’ve been playing KOW now for about 4 years; I was a warhammer refugee but I’ve been playing games and role playing since I was about 10. I instantly liked the game as it offered me the top down ‘general in a tent’ kind of tactical game combined with great army build options. I’ve tied playing all the KOW armies and I’d originally dismissed the trident realms. I think the main reason was because there are so many build options I couldn’t work out how to use them. A friend of mine stared using them and regularly beating me and that rekindled my interest. I noticed the Depth Horrors did very well and imagine my delight when I realised I could make an army nearly entirely out of them 🙂. I’ve played over a hundred games with the Trident Realms and I find them a very rewarding army, they require quite a lot of finesse however when you get it right they can be very effective. Some of the most enjoyable and tactical games I’ve played have involved the Trident Realms.

Jeff, the Trident King
My name is Jeff Swann, I’m originally from southern California but now live in TX and play KoW as well known player in the USA south region. Being from California you pick up some of that play style and bring a different take on army composition than what you might normally see in the south region which in my opinion mirrors much of the north in the UK playstyle. Typical players on the west coast in the USA focus more on theematic list and enjoy not having something that is min maxed to be the absolute best bang for the buck. 

 My experience with the army first started when I was flying back to California to play at the West Coast GT hosted in Orange County. The event was being run by old friends of mine who ran the podcast West Coast Kings or before that West Coast Hammertime. Fred was not having much success with his trident realm army so I told him to write me a list but don’t give it to me until I got to the GT. I ended up undefeated with it and won the GT. This speaks loads to how good KoW is as a game if all you need is the basics from playing another army (in my case I had played lots of forces of nature) and you can transfer that into how to play a army that is in many way similar. After this event I liked the army soo much I went home to start my own Trident army and the rest is history. Many people know my “Shark Week” army and love to play vs it. I find that no matter the outcome It is hands down my favourite army to play because it’s fun for both players. 

 I joined the KoW RC back in 2018 and stayed on through 2020. Much of V3 Trident Realm was the work of myself and Chris Morris. I have always been on the side of not making any unit “op” just because I played the army. This will translate into less nerfs in the army and if anything they would get buffs which as a player is always better to get a happy surprise rather than a rage invoking nerf. You will find that Trident Realm are not a perfect army, but in the hands of a skilled player are one of the most difficult armies to play against.

Michal “MiSiO
My name is Michal. I am 38. I play KoW since 2017 but I am a wargamer for at least 25 years now. I am both a hobbyist and a competitive player. I started with WFB in the 90’s then moved to Mordheim, BFG, DBA, BF&S. Played 15mm and 28mm wargames. Historical, fantasy and SF.

Abyssal Dwarfs were my first KoW army as I always wanted a Chaos Dwarf army (since the original rulebook was out) but when Trident Realm was released I switched to them and never looked back. Trident Realm is a weird army with a mix of very different units and heroes. It is also very unique in the way it plays and the number of great builds is endless.I have 6500 points painted and still have so many units to add and test…

Pat Zoro Allen
Patrick Zoro Allen here, Kings of War premier Has-Been that people sometimes listen to for some reason. I’ve wanted to play Trident Realm mainly because I wanted to build this:

This is a work in progress piece, that will probably weigh close to 5 pounds when finished as I plan on encasing the unit in a ~4″ resin pour and having the boat float on top. Trident Realms offers so many unique modelling opportunities and I love the combined races aspect of them and the ability to play with super bright colours. They’ve been a challenging army for me to come to grips with as I normally play an aggressive, alpha-strike style army. After many losses I felt I finally got the hang of them right before the world locked down. 

The Rating System

Each unit in the army is given a rating /10 using the scale below.

Note that the score given is how the unit compares to all other units in the game, not just compared to other units in the army. However, each unit should be considered in the context of this particular army e.g. a Phoenix in Salamanders may be rated differently to a Phoenix in the Forces of Basilea.


Naiad Ensnarers

Photo credit: Malcom G. Brown

Ben – 6/10
Great core unit with lots of utility. The low defence is mainly offset by Ensnare and the 4+ Regeneration should be enough to shrug off shooting softening. The Pathfinder doesn’t come into play too much due to Speed 5 but is always helpful.

Jeff – 8/10
Only ever really taken as a horde, these guys are one of if not the best anvils in the game. 4+ regen and ensnare lets you park them some place and be basically impassible terrain. If people charge them they will have to combo charge to get anywhere close to threatening them. Most of the time you will be -2 to hit them and even if you take 10 wounds you will regen 5 back and could take another 10 next turn and still be totally fine. I often don’t even counter charge so that the -2 to hit sticks and I can lock down units for a very long time.

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Michal – 7/10
Very good, but expansive anvil. Troops and even regiments never see play but a horde is a good choice for a slower naiad/gigas/placoderm based lists. Impossible to take out by many units when positioned well.

Pat – 8/10
The horde is one of the best anvils in the game with its combination of rules.Ensnare and Regeneration make it a pain to remove while Pathfinder allows it to get in position easily. Unfortunately those rules also make them too expensive in troops and regiments to really consider, which is why it’s an 8 and not a 9. The Horde is borderline a 10 though, depending on how well you can roll 4+ for their Regeneration.


Thull

Ben – 6/10
Good flankers but too fragile.

Jeff – 6/10
Good in all flavours but not worth taking loads of. They are pretty much succubi which I also love but with no fury or unit upgrade option. These are good screen units if you have shooting heavy issue because stealth and cover makes them bad targets to shoot or at least if they do get shot then those shots are not going at other units you have. These are also great chaff killers. High volume attacks that hit on 3’s and you can let the oppoant chaff charge them 1st because ensnare and usually hinder charge will keep them from dying.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Christopher Dwane

Michal – 6/10
They lose to Depth Horrors in most cases, unless you are like me and use Mythicans with surge to support Elementals. I was expecting Thuul regiments to cost 140 in 3rd. They ended up costing 150 and I think that is the main reason they are being considered weaker Horrors. Sadly Stealthy does not work vs Lighting Bolt so Thuul having Stealthy does not compensate lower nerve (to Depth Horrors). On the other hand Thuul benefit greatly from cheaper Sharpness. 190 points for 20 Me 2+ attacks is what most non-Depth Horror lists need. Thuul troops are a solid screens you cannot ignore. Able to clear any other chaff.

Pat – 5/10
Their role is essentially a hybrid of the footguard/beserker archetype. They’re priced alongside Elf Palace Guard and they do similar damage and have close to the same defensive capabilities when accounting for ensnare/stealthy. There’s nothing wrong with this unit and its a rather good unit in isolation, but two things keep it from being an ideal unit to take in a competitive list. 

Inner list balance. Hordes of Depth Horrors are only marginally more expensive for much a better profile and unlock reward. The Depth Horror horde vs Thuul regiment gives a lot of survivability and damage output for only 25pts more. The Depth Horror Regiment vs Thuul troop gives much more survivability and an extra point of US, but the Thuul troop does win out on damage at least.

The current shooting meta. This will vary by location but from what I’ve seen the current shooting meta relies on Lightning Bolt and Ignores Cover. Lightning bolt doesn’t care about stealthy which makes Thuul very vulnerable and Ignores Cover allow Thuul troops to be a decent screen if you were planning on running them in front of your Depth Horrors.

As they are now, the troops are solid as a second line clean up unit. The regiments should only be taken if you particularly like the models, or you’re 25 pts short of a Depth Horror horde.


Riverguard Treeleapers

Ben – 7/10
A solid unit and defence 4 combined with Ensnare means they’ll stick around. Their key skill is their Fly and Nimble that means they can get into great positions. Both troop and regiments are great options.

Jeff – 6/10
Solid 2nd line unit. Always keep them hidden and just use them as a possible threat. Never commit them solo. Combo with Wyrms or a Knucker these guys are solid. Nimble and move 7 means 14″ into terrain and still get a pivot.

Michal – 7.5/10
Like most units in the Trident Realm list, Treeleapers are good at a limited number of things. They’re what I call functional chaff which makes them a solid choice in my eyes. Speed 7, Crushing Strength (1), Flyingand Nimble unit with Pathfinder. I mostly take from 1-3 troops and they always have something to do on a table. Good screens. Very good flankers but swingy like all Me4+ units.

Photo credit: Danny Graves

Pat – 8/10
One of the best infantry units in the game in my opinion. It’s rare to have an unlocking unit that has Fly, Nimble, and Pathfinder which can lead to some very hard to deal with forces. The regiments are solid mini-anvils with solid nerve, Ensnare and def4. CS1 makes them a viable combat threat as well. 

The troops are probably where most people will gravitate towards. Fly means you can sit them behind your units and jump over for some juicy flanks.


Placoderms

Ben – 7/10
So solid crew! Defence 6 nuff said! Then phalanx? Wow! They are let down by Speed 5 and Melee 4 but they’re great anvils. They compliment the rest of the army well you just need to make sure you’re using them against flyers or cavalry to really make them shine.

Photo credit: Patrick Zoro Allen

Jeff – 7/10
Def 6 and phalanx is better than people give credit. These are great with all of the cav, monster cav, and flyers out there. You will find that people just try to leave them alone which can be a good thing. You can put tokens on them or hold objectives and eventually the opponents with have to charge you or just give up the point. Supported with a drain life or heal siren with heal shroud for heal 6 is the way to play these.

Michal – 5/10
Placoderm are a very defensive unit. The problem is this is how most Trident Realm units are. I can imagine troops and regiments being used with Weakness support and/or Bastion. I even have a troop of my own protecting my Giga list. I can imagine a 3-4 regiment list with Placoderm being a main battle like and a source of unlocks. Still a unit with a very limited role. Slow.

Pat – 6/10
If you live in a Cavalry  or Thunderous Charge heavy meta they’ll jump up to an 8 or 9. Great anvils though. They’re hard to get rid of for even the premier hammers (Soul Reaver Infantry and the like). The biggest thing that holds them back in my opinion is the Heavy Infantry base size limits some of the corkscrew shenanigans you could pull off with them as the base.


Naiad Heartpiercers

Ben – 6.5/10
Some of the best shooting troops in the game that are very survivable with Regeneration 4+. They’d be top tier and auto include if they unlocked but as they don’t it can be hard to get the shooting volume when you need other units for unlocks (I think Ben might need to go re-read his Clash of Kings 2021 😉 – Elliot).

Jeff – 8/10
Steady aim and P1 is a great combo, add in regen 4+ and you have a unit that is not likely to be shot off and usually must be charged. Place them in terrain with their leader point just barely poking out so that you don’t take a negitive to the shot but if charged the enemy will clip the terrain. These guys pop the few wounds you need to have your wyrms or depth horrors finish off. These are also good token holders.

Michal – 6.5/10
One trick pony. 2-3 troops or 2 regiments can do work. Ra4+, Piercing (1) is great. They rarely shoot in turn 1 but can be a very effective units in several builds. Go troops if you care about volume of shots, and regiments if you like your units to stay alive longer.

Photo credit: Clive Kelly

Pat – 6/10
These guys will tear up opponent melee infantry and can get a solid volley off before cavalry and flyers. They melt to opponents’ counter-fire as they don’t have the range to go up against 24” shooting effectively. The Regeneration can come in handy for the counter-fire however, as you’ll force the enemy to focus fire in order to remove them. 

They don’t have the melee threat that other ranged units in their price range boast (sisterhood scouts, gladestalkers) which is a shame since their range means they’re more likely to get stuck in melee. 


Riverguard

Ben – 5/10
Useful troops but they don’t unlock and what they do is done better by other things in the army. The Speed 7, Nimble and Fly means they can get into great positions and behind armies well as they’ll not be your opponents first target.

Photo credit: Patrick Zoro Allen

Jeff – 4/10
These guys are jack of all trades but master of none. I would have loved to seen these ME4 and go down to Def3 . These are basically a fill in for other armies that have light cav with shooting. These are good if you can get people to leave a gap to shoot into early game to get behind units .

Michal – 2/10
Losing Vicious on their javelins and Me4 means Treeleapers are just a superior choice. When I consider using them I always end up with Treeleaper troops. 9/11 nerve seems like an obvious mistake too.

Pat – 4/10
Too pricey for their damage output in my opinion. They’re still quite annoying to remove by the enemy since they boast def4 and Ensnare. However they can largely be ignored as well. The troops are pricier than the far superior Treeleapers, and while the regiment is cheaper, it’s also Irregular in an army that usually likes to utilize a lot of their unlocks. 


Tidal Swarm

Photo credit: Matt Gee

Ben – 8/10
 Best swarms in the game. Yes they die easily but Scout makes them very versatile. They can grab tokens early, shield your more vulnerable units and with Ensnare they can sometimes survive a charge from an alpha unit setting up a great counter. The Nimble means they can really get into awkward positions and at 70 points they’re so cheap so they’re great for increasing units in an army. I don’t think you’ll see many hordes as the regiments are so good.

Jeff – 8/10
One of the best swarms in the game. Scout and nimble is super solid and ensnare can make them dangerous to try to charge on the off chance you don’t break them. They do die to even a slight mist of shooting. 

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Michal – 9/10
I am not a fan of chaff that has no other role (functional chaff) but a 70 point scouting, Fearless swarm is a very good option especially for slower lists but also to control zones and tokens far from the main fight.

Pat – 9/10
Ensnare, Nimble, Scout, Fearless. Those three rules make this unit one of the best chaff options in the game regardless of its low speed. At a good amount of attacks they can often win the chaff war. Its borderline a 10 


Nokken

Ben – 4/10
Useful but their Shambling isn’t used much and really slows them down, their shooting attack is meh, you’ll always find better places to spend the points. Their Ensnare and Defence 3 means they’re a bit more survivable than the Tidal Swarms but its not enough to make much of a difference 

Jeff – 8/10
One of my favourite units that has been changed. More shots and shamble makes for some fun tricks. A unit with built in shots you can shoot them surge can really catch people out who don’t respect them. These are great as chaff or can be great to hold a objective. Parking them near terrain makes them a real pain. Ensnare and hinder is usually enough to make people second guess a charge that could cost them their unit.

Michal – 5.5/10
I play a lot of Elementals and I find that a very proper theme in Trident Realms and I rarely find space for a Nokken horde. Breath (14) is respectable for a 130 point unit. -/14, def 3+ Ensnare unit can take some hits especially behind an obstacle or in difficult terrain but they slow Elementals down due to Speed 6 which makes regiments of Nokken not the best chaff. I like horde more due to 14 breath shots and a potential to grind vs specific units.

Pat – 6/10
 The firepower of Tidal Spray shouldn’t be underestimated. However Shambling at Sp6 means it won’t be able to use that until turn 2-3 unless the enemy underestimates it. One of the few swarms where the Horde is the better choice thanks to Regeneration and Ensnare. They fit great in lists with Water Elementals, and they’re OK as clean-up units in other lists. 


Depth Horrors

Ben – 6/10
Oh how the mighty have fallen. They dish out loads of damage but they’re soo fragile, shoot at them (height 3 is easy to be seen) and they’ll go away. Losing Fearless was massive. The regiments are useful and good value but they won’t survive the game and now they might just let you down when you need them most.

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Jeff – 7.5/10
These are my favourite unit even tough now they dont have fearless anymore. With fearless I would give them an 8/10. These are budget ogres. A true glass cannon unit. Most times they are best used as a 2nd line. Let other units take the hit than come in and let the DH eat! Fearless was key on these because they can very easily be waived with 1 round of shooting. 

Michal – 8/10
Most straight forward unit in the army. The only true hammer we have. That is why we see them being spammed so much. Simple to use, with great support from Depth Horror Eternals. They suffered a bit due to the fact 3rd edition reduced Crushing Strength on most punchy unit and it is easier to need CS1 than CS2 units. Cheapest unlocks we have (except for Thuul that are weaker Horrors).

Photo credit: Adrian Scott

Pat – 9/10
Was a 10/10 when they were Fearless. As a unit with Fury, Ensnare, and one higher nerve than most Large Infantry they’re still one of the best melee anvils. Me3 and CS1 allow for steady damage and their price makes them one of the most efficient units in the game if you can keep them from getting shot (or if your meta doesn’t have a lot of shooting). Their one of the go-to choices for unlocks in the Trident Realm list.


Water Elementals

Ben – 6/10
Good Shambling large infantry, main skill is how solid they are. You can build and army around them but I think you’re missing out on other stuff in the Trident Realm list.

Jeff – 9/10
These guys in my opinion are the best elementals in the game. Move 7 and strider make for some real threats. Add nimble to them and look out! Sirens and surge make these guys synergize amazingly. One of the best cores in a TR list is 2 horde and a greater elemental plus a siren. 

Michal – 6/10
Best Elementals in my opinion. I like options and they give them to me. Speed of 7 and shambling are a very strong combination. Some valid Enthral combos (and by valid I mean possible to execute) makes Water Elemental hordes a very fun unit. Sadly they are Me 4+ which makes them very unreliable. Strider makes them reliably medicore. The last 6 times I was able to flank a 15/17 def 5+ horde with my Elementals I never even wavered targeted unit. This makes Entral+surge tricks not only very expensive but also very ineffective.

Regiments are a very solid flank protectors/chaff.

Pat – 7/10
Throwing Wine of Elvenkind onto this unit is one of the smartest things you can do with the item (see my Dash28 Trident Realm army review for how that works).  Trident Realm have great movement manipulation options to take full advantage of Surgenanigans, Water Elementals are a great core to a list but you’ll have to rely on flanks and tricks to get them to deal any reasonable damage. Otherwise you’ll be settling in for a grind, which they’re solid at.


Naiad Wyrm Riders

Ben – 7.5
Good cavalry, they’ve got everything you want built in, the lower than Defence 5 is offset by Regeneration and with Pathfinder built in there’s room for some nice magic item combos.

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Jeff – 8/10
Arguably one of the best cav units in the game. Many have complained these have no place in the army but I see it the polar opposite. These are basically the price of a cav unit but on a slightly larger base. H4 let’s you see over hiss where normal cav can not, pathfinder built in, regen 4+ in exchange for them dropping to a Def 4 where other knights are def 5. NE 15/17 is +1 NE compared to most* knights. CS 1 is as good or better than TC2 and if played correct can usually charge off a hill for a free TC1 which you will get to keep because pathfinder.

Michal – 4/10
Tried to use them with several different items. That did not work very well. Big footprint for a unit that is not very punchy and that has problems surviving a counter attack. Regen 4+ is great but 15/17 nerve is rarely enough to make them last long enough to benefit from it.

Pat – 7/10
You can look at them as a weird cavalry unit, or a weird large infantry unit. Wyrm Riders blend that design space. Mobility wise they’re great cavalry with Sp8 and Pathfinder. Offensively they’re standard Large infantry, sharing the same offensive capabilities of Depth Horrors and Ogre Warriors (solid, if not spectacular). Brew of Strength will turn a single Horde into a true hammer, while Blood of the Old Kings will be the dangerous budget option. 

They’re Trident Realm’s only unit that’s over speed 7 that doesn’t require an unlock. They excel when paired with some of the faster units such as Knuckers, providing both an unlock and a threat range base for the nimble monster to work off of. 

Their biggest downside is their base size, their status of Large Cavalry (phalanx hurts even though they don’t have TC), and their middling defense. 

Photo credit: Danny Graves

Riverguard Dambusters

Ben – 7/10
Great utility cavalry unit, the Enthral is great and now you can combine with other Enthrals you can use them as part of Enthral spam. The only down side is their cost which means you’ll not see many in any army.

Jeff – 7/10
Flying nimble unit with strider … sign me up. These are not crazy heavy cav that are going to 1 shot anything you front charge. These are better than non nimble flying units in most ways though. You can move at the double 14″ and still pivot but lose the 20″ charge range so pretty even there. Strider means you will always hit on 4’s AND keep their TC2 that adds on to their CS1. These are really solid units in regiment form but also they are unlock units in horde form. Both good choices.

Michal – 7/10
Hordes are a bit expensive hammers. They have a lot of special rules we pay for that requires a specific list to work (regiments) or just does not work at all (hordes). Me4 and Strider makes them similar to Water Elementals. Same average chance to hit in all conditions. Their footprint is a bit difficult to work with and they can not compete with Me3+ equivalents like Wights.

I like regiments a lot. 9 attacks is enough to make a difference. Enthral can work well with Surge and they can fit flanks due to smaller footprint. Hordes with Sharpness or Haste are a thing but they are very expensive. Still our best hammers. Oh. And poison frogs do work on hordes.

Pat – 7/10
The horde should not really be taken without further investing with either Blessing of the Gods or Brew of Sharpness. Their price is too great to rely on 18 attacks at Me4. The good thing is all the special rules of this unit allow those items to really shine. Strider, Sp7, Fly, CS1 and TC2 means that their melee value will stay consistent, and what they hit will be hurt. They’re also very easy to use with screens since Fly will make it easy to make contact with the enemy. The base size does make it harder to join battle in a scrum however, if you’re planning on using them more towards the middle of the board regiments are the better choice and those guys are fine without items. 

Defensively they can shrug off small amounts of small-arms fire with Regeneration and def5, but won’t take serious attention. The frontage also makes it easy to be multi-charged by faster forces.

The Sticky-tongue is a decent clean up threat, but the short range combined with the fact it’s actually an Enthrall spell makes it hard to use for pure damage in early stages of the game. It can be fun to combine with Water Elementals and a Surge caster however. 


Gigas

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Malcom G. Brown

Ben – 7.5/10
They’re very tough, they hit hard and they can get into flanks with the Nimble. Both regiments and horde options are good but at 125 points you can easily spam the regiments, taking down one is hard, taking down 3+ not gonna happen. Their CS2 and Vicious makes up for their lack of attacks.

Jeff – 8/10
Great all around unit. Big shield for def 6 and nimble and CS2. What is not to like? Well the foot print and only 12 attacks if you want to be picky. I’ll take speed 5 nimble over speed 6 no nimble all day. Really probably the go to unit in the army if your are an entry level or just above player looking for easy to play units. Any list is better with them.

Michal – 7/10
Best infantry hammer we have. 12, Me3+, Crushing Strength (2), Vicious attacks makes Gigas as good as many 18 attack units (Butchers). Gigas are another weird unit. Height 2, on a 150mm frontage bases allows them to make some corkscrew charges (thanks to those 4mm). Low number of attacks. A merge between hammer and anvil. Big but Nimble and Big shield makes them almost impossible to kill by many units. Siren seems to be an obvious choice when you decide to take a list with 1-3 horde. Heal and weakness. They benefit from both. Good second line unit.

Pat – 8/10
Defensively the same as Ogre Siegebreakers, they can still surprise people offensively as a medium hammer thanks to good melee, CS2, and Vicious. While Nimble makes their lower speed a non-issue as far as early game positioning goes, they’re still going to be charged more often then charging unless you invest in chaff for them. Their large base makes it harder to control multi-charges so you’ll have to make up for it with good use of angles, which thankfully Nimble helps with.

No photo description available.
Photo credit: Adrian Scott

Greater Water Elemental

Ben – 6/10
Good giant with regen, a little less hitty but it’ll lasts well.

Jeff – 7/10
Speed 7 and strider are the sell points here. Regen 5+ let’s him shrug off some small shooting damage. Usually use this guy as an anvil to go lock something down and love a turn while support arrives. He’s also easy to get flanks with due to shamble and surge tricks. 

Michal – 7/10
High nerve, small footprint, CS2, shambling. They are not Krakens or Knuckers but I always take one in a Waterbound themed lists. Square bases allows a lot of great surge tricks. Att of 8 is not impressive so like most non-Depth Horror units you get your value mostly due from advantageous positioning and flanking. They are ok in a straight fight.

Photo credit: Danny Graves

Pat – 6/10
Good defensive profile on a small base. Unfortunately it doesn’t do much damage even in flanks. Still it’s relatively cheap and a 50mm surgeable monster always has some tricks that will usually give the enemy pause.


Knucker

Ben – 9/10
So much for so little cost. Its so manoeuvrable, its hard to kill and it hits very hard, especially in flanks and rears which they’ll get into. It’s a cheap flying character that doesn’t take hero slots. It scores. It’s the best unit in the Trident Realm list.

Everybody hates Knuckers, unless you’re a Trident Realm player. 

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Jeff – 9/10
Too many good things to say. Nimble and speed 9 with path finder makes him almost as good as a flyer but you can’t just disorder him to lock him down. 6 attacks on 3’s makes sure he can usually always stick a wound on something. Ensnare usually means he can live through at least 1 counter charge. A good player can make a knucker get it’s points and more every game. If it was Height 5 it would be a 10/10. Height 4 means other monsters can still see over him if you try to use him to black line of sight.

Michal – 9/10
Knuckers’ in their current form are in a perfect spot. They got several buffs in previous CoK (2nd edition) and a small adjustment when we moved into 3rd. Their size got lowered and their cost went up a bit. Knucker is a unit TR use a lot because it is a missing tool we have problems finding elsewhere. Small footprint, non-hero unit (TR in most builds have problems unlocking) that is a non-flying SP flyer. Flanker, chaff, objective holder. Extra punch in combined charges. You name it. Not a real flyer but close enough.

Photo credit: Matt Gee

I have heard some people complain they should get a nerf (in form of removing previous balancing tweaks to Me and/or Stealthy) but I think a Knucker is in a very good spot when it comes to balance.

Pat – 10/10
There’s a lot to like about the Knucker profile. They’re frustrating to get to grips with the combination of Pathfinder, Nimble and Speed 9, and even though they have low nerve for a monster, Ensnare and Stealthy make them very resilient. Its essentially a Large Cavalry hero in a monster slot which allows it to ignore Phalanx, and frees up a hero unlock.


Coral Giant

Ben – 8.5/10
The hardest giant in the game. Iron Resolve and Ensnare means this is gonna be there at the end. Like all giants lots of Crushing Strength, nothing bad to say really, if you like giants you’ll love this one.

Jeff – 6/10
As good as other giants. Lose 2 attacks and 2 nerve to gain ensnare and iron resolve. Few points cheaper. This guy is best used as a 2nd line. Let other units lock down and then use the CS3 where you need it. Combo with heal or drain life siren and they work pretty solid.

Michal – 6.5/10
CS3 and Brutal (but no Fury). Something most TR lists will benefit from. Like most TR units… very defensive offensive unit. I rated them 6-7 because CG loose to Krakens in most cases. Still a unit I would consider in a Elemental list (Waterbound). Titan base is a disadvantage when compared to Greater Water Elemental base but Brutal and CS3 is what elemental-based lists want.

Photo credit: Danny Graves

Pat – 4/10
One of the few units that combines ensnare and Def5, Iron Resolve adds to the tankiness of this giant. For me, that’s where the good news ends. 

Its offensive capabilities is a travesty for a Titan. It boasts less attacks and less Crushing Strength than the generic or frozen counterpart. And while Iron Resolve and Ensnare sound great, being two points lower Nerve closes the defensive gap considerably. It is slightly cheaper than either counterpart at least. 

Within the faction I believe it’s incredibly outshined by the Kraken to the point that I would only ever take the Coral Giant if I couldn’t spare 25 points. 

Image may contain: people standing
Photo credit: Matt Gee

Kraken

Ben – 7.5/10
Good solid monster, Ensnare and Regeneration 4+ makes up for Defence 4, very hard to kill. Wild Charge and Speed 7 means it gets around  easily.

Jeff – 8/10
Basically a ensnare horde in a more mobile package. This guy is more of an anchor that people often missuse as a hammer. Best use is to charge out into a unit to hold it in place for maybe the entire game? High break point and regen 4+ means it’s going to take a long time to get past it. Most of the time it will out grind that dragon your afraid of if the oppoant moves it in range or you get a long wild charge. Don’t get combo charged is the key here… it can out grind almost any single unit.

Michal – 8/10
Unless shot from range a units that if used correctly rarely dies. I like them in pairs as they out-speed most TR units. Their very long range of 16-18 (if you also use Rushing Tides aura) is what makes them a very good flanker. I see 2 Krakens on a flank with Naiad Wyrmrider Centurions Inspiring support. Taking one is also nice but in most lists their high speed goes to waste. In general a very fast anvil. Ensnarers horde equivalent but still an anvil. Rarely finished anything off by itself. And the models is amazing.

Pat – 9/10
One of the most frustrating units to kill, I am on the fence between the Kraken being a 9 or 10.  It’s pretty much what a Coral Giant wants to be (unless you have a lot of small arms fire in your meta) as it can tank and grind with the best of them. Putting out a consistent 4-5 damage a turn, reducing incoming melee damage thanks to Ensnare, and healing half of the damage it does take thanks to Regeneration. 

Great speed means it can stand off vs cavalry, and if you combine with the Rising Tides aura you can even stand off vs Werewolves and other Sp9 units.


Leviathan’s Bane

Ben – 6.5/10
Solid bolt thrower however the Enthral sets it apart, this can now be used as part of an Enthral, Surge plan army.

Jeff – 5/10
Basically a bolt thrower but hits on 5’s in exchange for more peirce and option to pull units. I would love an option to upgrade with harpoon that makes it vicious vs monsters and titans so it sells the story of what it is.

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Michal – 4/10
Math says it is the weakest of all the balista and balistas in general are the weakest of all the engines. Expansive due to Enthral harpoon rule and piercing (3). I would say cost is the main problem. Rolling to hit, to wound and then for Enthral also makes harpoon very unreliable.

Pat – 3/10
A cross between a ballistae and a cannon. The lack of Ignores Cover is made up by the Ra4+ and it boasts Piercing 3 like most cannons. It only has the blast values of balistaes though while maintaining the price of the cannon. Ultimately it pays a premium for the Harpoon rule which is situational in use and very low probability to actually get off as well since you still roll for the Enthrall spell with the amount of damage done. If the target moved equal to the number of damage instead it could be a little more useful since the movement would become more reliable. But as is, I would struggle to fit an expensive warmachine into a list that doesn’t have cheap unlocks. 


Naiad Centurion

Ben – 6.5/10
Good solid character, can Inspire all types of units (one of the issues with Trident Realm characters is that they don’t Inspire all unit types so this is very useful).

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Jeff – 4/10
This guy just has no place in the army as is. He needs his ensnare back or you just automatically pop him on a wyrm. With ensnare he would be worth while obviously with a point increase. 

Michal – 4/10
Good nerve, regen, def 5+, Mighty with Pathfinder… but on foot. Wings takes some of his resilience away but the only version I would consider myself. One of few Inspiring (All) units but I never even considered taking him.

Pat – 1/10
With all the offensive capabilities of a human General, the Centurion pays 40 points for Regeneration, Pathfinder and Sp6 with no mount options. He doesn’t really offer much in support or offensive capabilities, and his defense isn’t good enough to bring along. 


Naiad Wyrm Rider Centurion

Photo credit: Clive Kelly

Ben – 8.5/10
Great nimble character who scores and Inspires. Defence 5 and Regeneration 4+ will make them very survivable. A slight variant on the Knucker being 1 speed less but nearly as scary. When spammed with Knuckers they’re amazing.

Jeff – 8/10
Good speed, def 5 , regen 4+ and now with nimble … this guy is great in any list. He’s a great lock down unit or great to get out there and disorder a shooting unit and then just zip off next turn. There are a million good uses for this guy and every list is better with one.

Michal – 7/10
Naiad on a Knucker. Very similar unit to knucker. More resilient than a Knucker but a hero not a monster which is a drawback (unlocks!). Still a very good choice. Fast. Punchy. Inspires everyone. A very good hero is but like most units in TR, requires a specific build to work.

Pat – 9/10
One of the better Large Cav characters in the game. He goes very well with Knuckers. Not the most offensive, but very shifty and hard to pin down.


Naiad Stalker

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Ben – 6/10
Useful disrupter, the shooting is good however you’ll find you’ll want to spend the character slots in other areas as it only Inspires itself.

Jeff – 7.5/10
The best replacement for the centurian. This guy is great anti chaff and is just as good at punching stuff as he is at shooting it. Good to pop some wounds on units on his way to kill a war engine or let him lock down a horde of trolls or ice elementals for a turn. All around great unit.

Michal – 8/10
Naiad Centurion that works. Less Nerve and attacks but Stealthy (most players does not shoot heroes anyway unless with Lighting Bolt and then Stealthy is irrelevant). She has a harpoon gun which is like a mini Lighting Bolt. I used her with Talisman before and she did great. Can ground a flyer, harpoon is very helpful in the late game and she has Ensnare!

Pat – 5/10
Decent little assassin-esque character. Unfortunately, like most assassin types you’ll probably struggle to fit him into lists compared to other characters. He doesn’t have Duelist like most assassins, but does have increased range on his ranged attack and Inspiring (self).


Depth Horror Eternal

Ben – 5/10
Solid character; loosing Fearless has really impacted on their value. They only Inspire Depth horrors which makes them limited.

Jeff – 8/10
This guy fills many roles and does all of them well. He’s chaff, he’s a nimble flanker, inspires the depth horrors, anti monster lock down control with his ensnare and good NE he can lock down ME 4 monsters for a surprising amount of time. The only question you have is to upgrade to a knucker or go with the this guy as the value but.

Michal – 9/10
Great unit. Small footprint, great nerve, Ensnare, Crushing Strength (2). I consider taking them even in a non-DH lists. Great chaff. Great technical tool. Highly recommended.

Pat – 9/10
Borderline a 10 unit, the Depth Horror Eternal is the toughest Large Infantry character in the game with high nerve and Ensnare. He puts out a decent punch as well. His only downside is the conditional inspiring but even then he’s a worthy addition to any Trident Realm list. 


Thuul Aquamage

Ben – 7/10
A very versatile caster, you’ll be seeing more of these now the Enthral/Surge list is more viable. The Wild Charge aura is also a nice addition. It’s Inspiring too but the Inspiring is limited to waterbound.

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Jeff – 6/10
Fun option if you just want a caster with loads of surge or a fun tricks with the wild charge 1 aura. If you give him the wings you can use him as your only surge caster and be fine with it. Add the wild charge aura and you can get a cheeky charge by flying this guy 20″ to effect any unit within 26″. He’s a bit expensive an spells are limited which keeps his score down at a 6 for me.

Michal – 6.5/10
You have to build a whole list around him but has some potential. Rising Tides, surge and the best spell in TR arsenal – Weakness. Weakness in an army that is mostly consisted of anvils is just pure gold. Aquamage is purely a caster. Auto-include in Waterbound themed lists. I can see him in a non elemental lists too.

Icy Breath on the other hand is not a great spell in general. I would say the main problem is the 10” range. Frozen rule would benefit greatly from a 12” spell. Not so much from a 10” spell.

Photo credit: Matt Gee

Pat – 8/10
The Aquamage is a good mage despite his limited spell options. The Wild Charge Aura alone can provide a big X-factor to many lists while Icy Breath (10) can be great clean up if you aren’t going the surge route. Weakness pairs well with Trident Realms attrition-oriented units. He’s a 6 or 7 if you aren’t utilizing his conditional Inspiring however as Trident Realm’s hero choices is a very crowded space. 


Thuul Mythican

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Photo credit: Adrian Scott

Ben – 6/10
Another useful caster with Surge. This one offers access to Windblast and Lightning Bolt, you’re paying a bit over the odds.

Jeff – 8/10
My go to caster. This guy is great because you get just enough surge on him to make him great but then you can instead use him as a mele hero because people will charge him thinking he’s just a caster… but then he smacks them in the mouth with 5 attacks with CS1. Another great option is to give him just wind blast to push shooting units into terrain to force covered shots or to stagger the enemy lines.

Michal – 6/10
Mythican main problem is that they inspire only Thuul and Krakens. This is weird for a buy who can take Surge (6).

Pat – 8/10
A build-your-own-swiss-army-knife. The Mythican is a mini combat character who can also buy spells. He provides great utility, especially utilizing his conditional Inspiring. If you aren’t running Cephalopod units however I’d rate him at a 6 or 7.


Naiad Envoy

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Ben – 6/10
Standard standard bearer with Regeneration making it a bit more survivable. The Fury aura option is nice and may be a way to offset some of the Depth Horror nerf.

Jeff – 5/10
Basic Inspire source but gains some survivability bonus. Not really a needed unit in most list. He can take bastion which is ok of you are playing lots of gigas or placoderms.

Michal – 6/10
Fury Aura Naiad Envoy can have is not enough to make units like Thuul dethrone Depth Horrors. But I do like Bastion spell a lot. If only there were enough hero slots to take another caster to support Watherbound.

Pat – 8/10
Few armies get special options on the ASB’s and then Envoy can buy Bastion and Horn of Ocean’s Fury together to make him a great support character. While the Horn cannot be paired with a magic item, Bastion can which allows him to be yet another mage option in Trident Realm, and the only one with full-fledged Inspiring. Lute is my go-to item, but Tome or Shroud are also solid choices. 

Photo credit: Matt Gee

Riverguard Sentinel

Ben – 6.5/10
Useful disrupter and character killer, Speed 7 is great for getting around and into your opponent’s back line but it’s not as good as Speed 10 Fly which other armies have access to.

Jeff – 8/10
Probably the best assassin in the game but you pay the points for it. You can give him the scout upgrade and be on top of your prey right away. This guy has something to do every turn between his shots or his mele attacks. He also takes a fair amount of commitment to remove. 

Michal – 4/10
Defence 5 and Ensnare is the story of this guy. Speed 7 and Fly is also great. He can throw a javelin too but 135 points just because he is Mighty and has a Duelist rule? Way to much for me unless in a Riverguard list. We must remember that if a hero like Stalker wounds a unit she becomes Mighty herself (disordered units can not move through heroes anyway).

Pat – 7/10
The closest thing the Trident Realm get to a mounted individual, he fulfills the Mr. Fix-it role in Trident Realm serviceably. He’s surprisingly stout and can be a great harassment character. His number of attacks is just low enough that even with Duelist you won’t be one-shotting most mages and there’s a solid chance that the dragon will still be able to fly away. If you aren’t utilizing his conditional Inspiring he’s still useful, but a little pricey for just an individual-missile, he’s a 6 without any of his friends. If you aren’t taking amphibians for him to Inspire, Kyroqsh is probably a better choice for the role for not much more points.


Siren

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Ben – 6.5/10
Part of the Enthral/ Surge list. Access to Drain Life 6 is nice and you’ll probably put both together to give the Siren a use throughout the game.

Jeff – 6/10
The siren has some cool synergy when you play with surge in the army but not so much when you don’t. With surge you can Enthral a into forward to get some fun flank surges that were not there prior to the Enthral. With the slight buff to Enthral she is better now than the beginning of V3 but not a lot. I would have liked to see her Enthral get to roll to wound after like the banshees do.

Michal – 5/10
Siren lost her Living Legend status but to even consider a single Siren you have to have a very specific build in mind (like a Giga/Eckter/Placoderm Def 6+ list). I like her for her Heal and Weakness spells. Her Iconic Enthral spell is not good on her. She is short, rarely can see over Elemental. Some Enthral late game tricks are to situational to pay points for a non-Inpisring hero like a Siren.

Photo credit: Adrian Scott

Pat – 7/10
Yet another mage-type character, the Siren is one of the few units in the game with access to Enthrall and one of two non Living Legends that has it as a base spell. Enthrall’s tactical flexibility is much greater in a list that also utilizes Surge, but its still useful in pulling enemies off objectives and causing traffic jams. Her spell options are the best of any of the mages. Heal or Drain Life can make for a scary wall of Def6 and/or ensnare that just won’t die. She pairs exceptionally well with Gigas and Placoderms, using Enthrall to force the enemy to engage and switching to Heal/Drain Life/Weakness to keep your wall of Def6 alive.


Riverguard Dambuster Sentinel

Ben – 5/10
Useful flanking character but when compared to Naiad Wyrm Rider Centurion it doesn’t stack up. It does have access to Enthral though which means it can be used in the Enthral/ Surge list.

Jeff – 7/10
This guy is always a hard call for me. He is a solid choice and usually fights over the same spots as a reg of dambusters, knucker or wyrm rider centurian. The reason to take this guy is the CS2 TC1 with strider. All of the other options have nimble and compare up to this guy but he will always do dependable damage when needed. His ranged attack will at times catch people out as well if you need to pull a unit just out of charge range or just into terrain to force a hinder charge.

Michal – 8/10
I play a lot of Elementals and he is great synergy. He has some punch. Has best Enthral, Inspires some Dambuster regiments and/or Treeleapers. Give his Blade of Slashing and you are ready to go. He looks very similar to Naiad Wyrmrider at the first glance but his role is very different. He is a second line unit. Fly and H4 allows for many tricky plays.

Pat – 8/10
Conditional Inspiring and a slightly low nerve are the biggest downsides to this Flying Large Cav character. Otherwise he’s a great Can Opener that has a little extra utility with his Sticky Tongue rule. He doesn’t have the attacks to take many units on by himself, but his rules makes it easy to get him into flanks and multi-charges.


Eckter

Photo credit: Matt Gee

Ben – 9/10
Very tough, useful spell, Inspiring, hits hard. He’s nearly got everything, the only downside is his Speed 5. One of the best Living Legends in the game.

Jeff – 10/10
Eckter is a Boss! He’s only available to Trident Realm armies so it keeps him in check from being borderline OP. His speed makes him avoidable which is exactly what you will have to do is avoid him as an opponent. He’s a great unit defender to pop in front of units your worried will get combo charged. He can strike fear into any cav unit in the game with -2 to hit him from ensnare and phalanx. If you have a siren around to heal him he may literally never die. The kraken maw wind blast 8 in the hands of a good player makes for a real challenge for the opponent to line up all of the charges they really want to get. Any list is better with him.

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Michal – 8/10
People say he is auto-include but I find him situational. His best tool is Krakenmaw but he is slow and does not fit every list. Another great anvil in a list full of anvils.

Pat – 8/10
He is very pricey, but thanks to his amazing Krakenmaw ability he’s still worth taking as a Sp5 Individual. A very high amount of Wind Blast that damages and never takes modifiers can really mess with your enemies plans. Very few enemies can kill him, and even fewer can do it in one go. He’s a decent addition to any list, and can be downright terrifying if you build a list to his strengths.


Trident King

Ben – 7/10
Very useful Inspiring bubble (often hard to get enough in Trident Realm army). Tidespray can soften up some units but you’ll be getting into combat too quickly to really use it. The main issue with the Trident King is the Kraken which is just tougher for 10 points more. Also you can legitimately declare “Release the Kraken!” whenever you deploy which is an opportunity that’s hard to turn down. 

Photo credit: Alaric Hart

Jeff – 8.5/10
If he had 1 more NE point I would say 9/10. The Trident king is in every single list I write, not because he’s amazing at one thing but because he is the ultimate tool box. Very Inspiring on a chariot base usually means 12″ inspire bubble. Ensnare def 5 regen 5+ means he can take a hit pretty well and come back from it. He is as good at shooting as he is at combat so there is no reason to go rushing into a combat to get his use but you will find that people will often want to charge him for the same reason so you always run units near him to punish that decision. He’s great! The only reason to not take one is you want lots of Kraken instead.

Michal – 8/10
Multi-purpose tool that can do few things well. Not great but well. He is best (surprise, surprise!) at grinding. Def 5+, Ensnare, regen. But he can add few wounds here and there due to 12, Me4+ attacks. He has no Pathfinder so it can be tricky to benefit from his TC1. He is also Very Inspiring which is big for a SP8, Nimble unit like this. King expensive (got even more expensive in 3rd) but he is a Kraken and a Nokken mix. His chariot base makes him very hard to block and non-flying nimble means only Ensnared attacks can limit his ability to move around enemy units shooting and threatening flanks.

Pat – 7/10
A little pricey and not the most straightforward character to use. He does provide a huge amount of utility with a great ranged attack, decent melee attacks, and being very hard to kill. 


Kyroqsh, the Hunter in the Deep

Ben – 5/10
Useful disrupter and the special rule means it’ll do some damage when it hits. The main issue is its Defence 4 so when it hits the big monsters to use it’s special rule it won’t survive the counter attack. The Lightning Bolt is useful as it can be used to soften up units before you hit and when combined with Speed 7 and Individual you might be able to duck and dive before you hit to kill but when it comes down to it you’ll find a better use for the points.

Jeff – 7/10
Love the fluff on this guy and most of the rules (probably because I made them lol). The idea of a thull that stalks monsters is super fun. His scout makes him a huge threat from turn 1. Most monsters hit on 4′ so 5’s on this guy with his ensnare. I wanted to swap his lightning bolt out for life leech 1 vs monsters but that didn’t happen… we can’t have it all. With that change I think he becomes a 8/10. Still a great unit even if you just scout out to go take down shooting units with him when there are no monsters. Very fun guy.

Michal – 5.5/10
Used him in a Waterbound themed list with Thuul support. His Inspiring seemed great but rarely worked due to his Scouting role. If you have problem with shooters he is your guy that can shut them down turn 1. His Lightning Bolt is a nice addition but (3) is not impressive and all we can hope for is a random chip damage when he has no one in charge range. I would say 120 points is his spot but if you are looking for a scouting hero he is your guy.

Pat – 8/10
I feel like a broken record, but if you’re taking him without utilizing his conditional Inspiring he’s probably a 6 or 7. He’s a solid-all around character that fulfills the individual hunter adequately, and flyer-stopper admirably. His special Hunter in the Deep rule makes him much more consistent in grounding dragons and other defense 5 flyers. Scout plus Sp7 keeps the enemy honest when deploying such units.


Summary

Overall Average Rating /10 – 6.8/10

Most agreed upon unit(s)- 
Riverguard Dambusters (all four players agreed)

Least agreed upon unit(s) – 
Naiad Centurion (5.5 points of difference between the top and bottom ratings)
Coral Giant (4.5 points of difference between the top and bottom ratings)


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Elliot’s Beer Fund

If you’ve enjoyed the blog and you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a pint. Please dont feel any obligation to do so, I’ve started this blog because it’s fun, not to make any money. Any money received will go towards hosting costs. Or my beer fund… ok mainly my beer fund.

£3.00

Army Review: Twilight Kin

I am very pleased to share the first in a series of 26 army reviews – that’s right I’m doing them all!

While I am a big fan of the traditional army review format, they usually only show the opinion of one person playing in one particular meta. Even within the same gaming group, there is often a lot of disagreement over which units are top tier and which leave a lot to be desired. So I’ve decided to format these army reviews in a way that captures that debate.  

Each review will be made up of the opinions of four different players; either players who know the army well or regularly plays against it. I’m going to try and ensure that the players who review each army come from a wide variety of different gaming backgrounds and different parts of the world.

A massive thank you to Grant, Marc and Thomarsar for their help with this review.

The ‘Expert’ Panel

Marc
Hello, world!  I’m Marc Taylor, a player based out of Chicago, IL (USA) and member of the Tabletop Titans, and reigning champ of doing pretty well early and then losing in dumb ways mid-event only to circle back up to the upper ranks of events. However, in June 2020, I ran Twilight Kin against 36 players in the Bugeater GT and ran the gamut against strong lists and strong players (Keith Randall, your KOM list still haunts me despite my victory) to take first place.  Twilight Kin called to me for a number of reasons, chief of which is that I’m a special snowflake who is drawn to armies not being played much.  But it was also because I was wanting to paint/build certain units for a physical army I was (and still am…) building, and the unit profiles for Twilight Kin most closely matched the models I was using.  But then the more I played with the list, the more I enjoyed it and toyed around with various interesting builds.  Sadly, not many of them really ever clicked, but now my losses and insight are your gain! 

Elliot
Its my blog and I love Twilight Kin, so of course I was going to jump on the chance to do the the review for this army – don’t worry I wont be contributing to all the reviews. I’ve been playing Twilight Kin for almost a year now and absolutely love them, they fit my playstyle really well and I feel that I’ve been able to get a good range of competitive lists out of them. Thanks to COVID I’ve only been able to take them to one ‘real’ event but managed to come 3rd with them on their first outing at the GT in Cologne.

Grant Alexander
I’ve been playing since 2nd edition, as a Warhammer refugee. I did get the 1st edition signed Kickstarter rulebook although never played that edition as the game didn’t quite grab me and I was quite involved in the Warhammer tournament scene (had a podcast and everything). After the company that should not be named blew up the fantasy world, I went looking for a new rank and flank game. Signed up for my first event and learnt to rules from watching battle reports and a tutorial game from a mate down the gaming club (Bexley Reapers). My first event I took Twilight Kin and surprisingly managed to take out the event. Since then I’ve used Twilight Kin on and off. I’ve taken them to 2 of the Shroud of the Reaper events (tournament I co-host with Mark “Giant Farmer” Cunningham) and managed to somehow come in 3rd at the first event and 2nd at the latest. I’ve painted up a lot of models for the army over the last year and am looking forward to trying to hang on to the Twilight Kin ‘best in race’ icon till the end of the season (doubtful, just nice to have a goal).

Thomarsar
Refugee from the 2015 warhammer exodus. Usually close to the top, but rarely 1st. Played mostly dwarfs and Brotherhood in 2nd, started with TK in erly 3rd and stuck with it. Mixed arms with focus on alpha strike is my favourite playstyle and I’ve made a TK list to match. What drew me to TK was that I really wanted to test Treeherder + forest shamblers, but both main lists for them didn’t interest me and when I got to TK and Mikayel especially I was hooked by the idea for my army. Also as I got a TK army box and the possibility to make my first all Mantic army.

The Rating System

Each unit in the army is given a rating /10 using the scale below.

Note that the score given is how the unit compares to all other units in the game, not just compared to other units in the army. However, each unit should be considered in the context of this particular army e.g. Silverbreeze cavalry in Twilight Kin may be rated differently to Silverbreeze cavalry in Elves.


Impalers

Marc – 7/10
Probably my favourite unit in the army, and yet one of the most frustrating.  They define the general playstyle of the army as a whole, functioning as one of the sturdier glass hammers.  The first thing most players see is the average defensive stats; de4+ and a nerve of 14/16 is admittedly not the best, but it’s far from terrible.  However, their offensive profile more than makes up for that.  Elite on only 15 attacks doesn’t mathematically add too many additional hits (1.25, on average), but it does prevent the amount of missed charges.  Put Brew of Strength or Vicious on them and have a source of Bane Chant nearby, and they can reliably do 8 to 10 wounds per regiment.

…but that’s why I only rank them only a 7.  It will become a familiar refrain throughout this army review, but when enabled, Impalers do amazing work.  The issue is that you can only have so many support pieces in a list, and they can’t support everything.  Impalers require being a second-wave unit (or at least shielded by chaff) and greatly benefit from items and Bane Chant.  They function fine without items, but they absolutely cannot be the unit at the forefront of your deployment.  For me to give a unit an 8 or above, I feel like you need to have a reason not to take it; units like the Soul Snare or Mhorgoth or whatever (which I realize is an unfair comparison, but still).  Impalers require enough additional support that there are very strong and valid Twilight Kin lists that don’t feature them at all.

I personally only take regiments, as troops feel considerably too fragile and if I wanted that profile I’d pay +20pts for a troop of blade dancers.  It’s also worth noting that I’m not a fan of the screamshard option.  I’ve tried it out a lot on the regiments, but more often than not I never get a chance to use it.  If something is punching them, the Imps are either going to get wavered, routed, or it’s chaff that maybe does a wound or two.  I never got my money’s worth out of the scream shard when comparing those 10pts to items.  Still, if you’ve got 10pts left at the end of list construction and have nothing else to spend them on, slap it on there I guess.  Just don’t expect it to meaningfully do much.

Recommended items:  staying stone, dwarven ale, chalice of wrath, mead of madness, chant of hate, brew of haste, brew of strength

Photo credit: Kevin McCusker

Elliot – 6/10
Impalers are…fine. They’re a perfectly decent unit that have a good damage output for an infantry regiment. I know other people really like them, but I’ve never really been very enamoured with them. For me they’re still just a little bit too fragile for their cost, Def4 and 14/16 is just a little bit too easy to waver in my experience. I’d recommend not taking the Screamshard on these guys as they rarely tend to be in a position to use it. I find that Impalers are either fully fresh or dead in one hit, they dont have much in between.

I think if you build your entire list around delivering these guys to the front lines safely and then support them with Bane Chant or Drain Life then they are a decent unit – but for me I find that a little too much investment to make them work.

Grant – 7/10
Solid unit with good amount of Crushing Strength attacks. Held back due to no horde option.

Thomarsar – 6/10
 Decent hitting power, but costy for def/nerve.


Blade Dancers

Marc – 6/10
If lightning bolt wasn’t nearly as prevalent in the game right now, this unit would be an easy 8.  However, there is enough casual LB10+ and all our healing is limited to 6” drain life that it means they either get picked off long before they engage or they’re stuck being screened by units that do their role just as well (horsemen or fiends).  Given that concern, my numerical score for the troop is probably closer to a 5; de3+ and -/12 is really, really easy to casually break.  Fearless is great and it’s what’s keeping their score so relatively high for me, but it’s just not enough in the current meta.

It’s worth noting, however, that when the Dancers are allowed to do their job, they REALLY do their job.  On average, unhindered, 20 elite attacks on 3s will get 15.6 hits, one less than the average 16.6 hits from a 25 attack me3+ unit.  When fully enabled, they’re essentially as damaging as a Soul Reaver regiment, but you need to work hard to let them do it.  A dedicated chaff unit, a summoner crone with veil of shadows, several items to help them get the jump on other units are all great options, but it means you can’t just take this unit as a standalone unit and hope for it to perform.

Photo credit: Kevin McCusker

Recommended items: maccwar’s potion of the caterpillar, sir jesse’s boots of striding, brew of haste, mead of madness, chant of hate, brew of haste, hammer of measured force, brew of strength

Elliot – 7/10
Speed 7 on this unit is very powerful and it’s what separates them from other Berserker style units – but man are they fragile for how much they cost. This is a unit that I’ve found to be a bit all or nothing; taking just one or two regiments makes them an easy shooting target. Taking 4-5 regiments means that something will always get through and when it does, it’s going to do a decent amount of damage.

Grant – 6/10
Lots of attacks but you still pay through the nose, even after the Clash of Kings ’21 points drop. Should have hero type that boosts them. Low defence means they suffer Vs similar units. 

Thomarsar – -/10


Kindred Tallspears

Marc – 8/10
Sadly, being an unlocking infantry horde is justification enough for this score in TKin, it just also happens to be a legitimately amazing unit.  I cannot imagine ever building a strong TKin list without at least one horde, but never more than two.  I would also always put the hammer of measured force on the first horde, and brew of strength on the second and you’ll be able to take a hit and hit back strong.  On average the horde gets 17.5 hits, so any amount of bonus to wound is going to go far.  Beyond that, de4+ 21/23 with phalanx is far from unkillable, but even one source of drain life makes them stay in the fight far longer than it seems that they should.

It might be because it’s our only unlocking horde option, but I personally would only ever take this unit as a horde.  The regiment is 20pts cheaper than an Impalers regiment, and a unit with phalanx isn’t really comparable to a unit with cs(1), but I would still prefer the Impaler regiment.  A de4+ phalanx unit with 14/16 nerve is still very unlikely to survive against anything you’d want charging it (i.e. any sort of cav) especially if that regiment takes 2-4 wounds on the way in.

Recommended items:  hann’s sanguinary scripture, aegis of the elohi, hammer of measured force, maccwar’s potion of the caterpillar, chant of hate, brew of strength, brew of sharpness.

Elliot – 8/10
I love Tallspears, they’re a hammer and anvil unit rolled into one. They can take a charge from almost anything in the game and they can hit back with damage output similar to cavalry regiments. For me the Brew of Strength is a must take on this unit. With it their average damage per round vs Def5 goes up to 8.8 – that’s enough to threaten to kill any large infantry or cavalry unit in one hit. Add in the fact that they’re speed 6 and their threat projection on the board is a beautiful sight to behold. I never leave home without two hordes of Tallspears. The only reason I haven’t scored these higher than an 8 is the fact that I feel they need expensive items attached to them to come up to their full potential. 270 points (the cost of the horde with Brew of Strength) is a big chunk of change to drop on a unit, but its always been worth it for me so far. 

Grant – 7/10
Solid unit. They like both the Brew of Strength or Hammer of Measured Force. Good nerve so are useful as central tarpit unit that can dish out some damage. 

Thomarsar – 5/10
They are all right, but I rarely get positive surprises. 


Kindred Archers

Marc – 5/10
Elf archers have been dissected to death since the drop of 3rd edition, and I don’t have a lot to add to that discussion.  They’re only 120pts for the regiment, so they can act as a higher-priced chaff unit that can walk forward and shoot while being a 14/16 blocking unit or staying back acting as objective holders.  They’re far from terrible (I feel most people rate them at a 3 or 4), but they also rarely make it into my lists.  Still, I don’t hate 1 or 2 regiments of them in a list, but they’d be high on the list of units to cut if I’m looking to make more room.

Recommended items:  none

Elliot – 4/10
If you look at them purely for their ability to shoot things, then they’re a terrible unit. However, speed 6, Def4 and 14/16 are all excellent stats for a unit that only comes in at 120 points. Take them as regiments or not at all in my opinion. 

The best role for these units is to sit back on an objective all game and take the odd pot shot whenever they can. What is frustrating is that they sit on an objective just as a well as a Zombie regiment does, but they cost 50 points more.

Grant – 4/10
Hitting on 5s as a base sucks. Even with elite. If they gave them Steady Aim it would be thematic and match the rest of the list.

Thomarsar – 8/10
Good objective holder, unlocks, cheap enough to be chaff in a pinch.


Kindred Gladestalkers

Marc – 6/10
They’re archers, but better!  But also so, SO much more fragile.  Having scout and pathfinder means they can scout forward into a forest and into cover before turn 1 which helps, but at de3+ and 10/12 nerve for the troop and 14/16 nerve for the regiment, they can get quickly shredded if anything even casually looks at them.  They are one of only a handful of units in the army with terrain mitigation built-in (pathfinder), which is often very relevant.  They’re also notably one of the only units in the list that have full elite, and not just elite(melee) or elite(ranged).  On paper they have a lot going for them, but even when you live the dream and let them charge a flank they don’t really do a ton.  Even the regiment against the flank of a de5+ unit (which, IMO, is pretty close to the standard profile in the game) only does 3, probably 4 wounds.  Granted, those wounds CAN be pretty critical if you’re also doing 10 wounds in the front from an Impaler regiment, but also it’s also very challenging to orchestrate that scenario against even a casually experienced player.

It’s worth noting that as of Clash21 they unlock now, which definitely helps them have a place in most lists. However, at 175pts for a regiment, they’re still a little too pricey for me to include too many of them in a list.  I would also only ever consider regiments of them, as 130pts for a troop is the same cost as a troop of Silverbreeze Cavalry.  Those cav have better speed, defense, nerve, and also have nimble.  All of that more than makes up for the one less attack, especially for that low amount of attacks.

Recommended items:  none

Elliot – 5/10
Becoming regular was a nice buff for them and definitely opened up some more options in an army like Twilight Kin that is so often starved of unlocks. But Gladestalkers are an example of a unit that pays for so many competing special rules that it’s unlikely to ever make its points back.

Steady Aim is made somewhat irrelevant by Scout and 24” range. If you’re using your Elite in melee, it means that you’re not utilising all those points they pay for their shooting attacks. All this adds up to a unit that is fairly costed, but just a little too expensive for my taste. 

Grant – 7/10
Good unit for long range harassment. They work better on boards with a good amount of difficult terrain, else they struggle to make back their points.

Thomarsar – 4/10
Way better damage than archers, but too costly, especially due to low survival.


Therennian Seaguard

Marc – 6/10
This unit really feels like a horse designed by committee.  The points reduction from the Clash21 adjustments certainly helps, but without steady aim their bows are unlikely to ever be overly useful.  If the horde survives to turn 5 or 6, I can see them being very useful though.  However, my single biggest issue is that Twilight Kin are SO unlock starved that I have a hard time justifying this unit over a spear unit.  I realize it doesn’t need to be either/or, but if you’re putting in a horde of each then I still feel like you’re missing out on the unlock potential of two regular hordes.  

Even though they’re most often lambasted for not having either steady aim or that they’re limited to only elite(melee), I still think they’re not a bad option.  If they were an unlocking unit they would probably replace spear hordes entirely for me, and if you wanted to play a list that focuses much more on the Elven units then they aren’t out of place.  Likewise, if you’re wanting to build more of a gunline, I don’t hate them being present either.  However, I feel like they are outshone by many other similar units in the army.

Recommended items:  chant of hate, dragonshard shield, hammer of measured force, brew of strength

Elliot – 6/10
With their updated price point, Seaguard are a unit that I think people need to pay closer attention to. They’re a unit that can take part in every turn of the game, but unlike Gladestalkers they don’t pay so much for their ranged attacks, as to make it a waste when they get into combat.

I like taking these as regiments. They’re a nice solid unit to hold down a flank or an objective. They’ll never set the world on fire, but they’re pretty good now. 

Grant – 6/10
I prefer these over archers as at least they can defend themselves a bit. The price drop helped them massively.

Thomarsar – 4/10
This unit tries do two things at once and is a bit meh at both.


Cronebound Gargoyles

Marc – 8/10
What’s left to say about gargoyles that hasn’t already been said?  They’re up there with best chaff in the game.  The only reason they’re not 10/10 is because of the previously mentioned LB proliferation and how quickly they can get surprise routed long before they’re useful.  

It’s important to note that gargoyles shouldn’t just be seen as a speedbump.  Speed 10 nimble fly is definitely great for blocking LoS and charge lanes as highly mobile chaff should do, but that can just as easily be used to run around a flank to get flank/rear charges, and with 10 attacks hitting on 4s, flank and rear charges can be really punishing if you also have any bane chant available.  For example, if you were to rear charge a de5+ unit, that’s an extra 5 wounds even without any bane chant.  Acting as a flanking charger is still definitely not their primary purpose, but don’t lock your thinking into them only being great throwaway chaff.

Recommended items:  lol no 

Photo credit: Kevin McCusker

Elliot – 10/10
Gargoyles are too good. Plain and simple. Not because of their stats, but because they’re so cheap. I debated for a long time about whether Gargoyles should be a 9 or a 10, but I settled on 10 because there will never ever be a list that doesn’t benefit from taking at least two troops of gargoyles. 

I would still take them is they didn’t have any unit strength.
I would still take them if they didn’t have any attacks.
I would still take them is they were 100 points.

They will AWAYS be worth taking for 85 points, in any list, in any build, in any scenario. I think that has to make them a 10/10.

Grant – 9/10
Almost every list will have 2 units. The only reason I’ve not rated them a 10 is due to the nerve hit they took in 3rd Edition so you can easily kill them with one good round of shooting from a single unit. 

Thomarsar – 8/10
Great chaff piece that can also easily be a worrysome flanker. However they’re very vulnerable to Mind Fog/ Lightning Bolt and puts them down a bit.


Cronebound Butchers

Marc – 8/10
The original thicc chaff.  If you don’t know how great the unit is by now, then you’re probably new to the game, in which case: they’re great.  Butchers are worth taking as regiments for that sweet sweet thicc chaff or as hordes as a great anvil.  They’re also one of the only units in the army that comes with at least two points of damage modifier (crushing strength (2)), which gives them a solid spot in any army.  Do keep in mind that hitting on 4s means that they can do some reliable and meaningful damage, but they won’t act as a primary hammer (unless you invest a lot into them).  

Recommended items:  player’s choice

Elliot – 8/10
I personally don’t tend to use Butchers that often, preferring my Cronebound units to be a little faster and harder hitting. But I totally recognise how good they are. This is a unit that works both as regiments or hordes, although both fulfil quite different roles in the army. 

Losing Fearless in CoK21 was definitely the right way to go for them, as it is they’re still unbelievably good value and fill a role in the Twilight Kin list.

Grant – 7.5/10
Straddles the border between a 7 and an 8 due to losing Fearless in CoK21. Also, this is a unit that you would happily pay the extra 5pts to have Mindthirst. 

Thomarsar – 8/10
Great in regiments and hordes as thick chaff/damage dealers.


Cronebound Shadowhounds

Marc – -/10
I’ve never played with them or against them.  They seem like you could build a good list with them, but without actual experience I’d hate to theorize.

Elliot – 4/10
In a Nightstalker review, I would rate Shadowhounds higher but I think of all the Nightstalker units brought into the Twilight Kin list, Shadowhounds are the ones that suffer the most from losing Mindthirst, as their natural habitat is out on the flanks harassing enemy units. Twilight Kin will never have the spare Inspiring available to baby sit them.

For me, I will always find the extra points to upgrade them to Horsemen. Or save the points and ‘downgrade’ them to Gargoyles.

Grant – 6/10
Overpriced and kind of lack a role in the list that isn’t performed better elsewhere. 

Thomarsar – -/10


Cronebound Abyssal Horsemen

Marc – 7/10
…and Crone Bound Fiends. I can’t discuss one of these units without directly referencing and comparing to the other.  To me, you pick one of these two units, but never both.  At their core, both units are sp8 cavalry that average 12 hits on a front charge when unhindered with at least crushing strength (1).  The Horsemen are an unlocking unit, which can be a huge point in their favor, but are 30 points more for the full-sized unit (regiment of Horsemen vs a horde of Fiends).  When it comes to offensive potential they are essentially tied although the Fiends have a higher potential given their 6 more attacks compared to the Horsemen, but I personally rank vicious on the Fiends higher than the thunderous charge (1) of the Horsemen.  It is also critically worth mentioning that, when using standard terrain, Fiends can see (and be seen) over hills, though with that cutting both ways that’s possibly a net neutral difference.  

The biggest difference is in their defensive profile, and this is where it comes to what your meta is.  Horsemen have higher defense, regen, and fury, but have two less nerve and no stealthy.  In my experience, de5+ and nerve 14/16 is unfortunately easy to break.  But honestly, I mostly value the stealthy of the Fiends, as most of my opponents seem to want to bring at least two war engines, and sometimes up to five.  That amount of firepower evaporates units, but cutting their accuracy from hitting on 5s to hitting on 6s trivializes all of those points.  And being height 4 guarantees that you will block line of sight to the rest of your army.  As you can tell, I prefer Fiends, but that does not mean that Horsemen are any worse of a pick.  It all depends on what ancillary benefit you need from your cavalry hammer.  

One last thing I want to note is when taking more than one regiment/horde of Horsemen/Fiends: all too often I see people putting maccwar’s on one and the jboots on the other.  To me, this is overkill and entirely unnecessary.  With even a little foresight, it should be more than possible to deploy the non-terrain mitigating unit free of terrain such that they shouldn’t ever be at risk of being hindered.  Therefore, one should absolutely get maccwar’s or jboots, and the other should get some other item.
Recommended items:  maccwar’s potion of the caterpillar or sir jesse’s boots of striding, mead of madness, blessing of the gods, chant of hate, brew of haste, wine of elvenkind (Horsemen only), brew of sharpness (IMO Fiends only, but some like it on the Horsemen too)

Elliot – 8/10
Probably my favourite unit in the list, I absolutely love these guys. Solid damage dealers with a high number of CS/TC attacks, but what really makes these guys shine is the combination of Def5, Fury, Regen and Drain Life from the Summoner Crones. These rules in tandem make then an incredible point efficient unit that’ll hang around for longer than they have any right to. Add in the fact that they can take regiment level artefacts and you have a very powerful unit. 

I’ve only rated them an 8 because I feel like they have two things that keeps them from being a totally top tier unit. The nerve of 14/16 does put them in a slightly vulnerable position to be taken off in one shot by a determined unit (these guys hate being shot at by war engines). The second thing is that they’re pricey. I think the cost on them is perfectly fair, but to stretch to a 9 or a 10 I’d say a unit would need to be a little cheaper than a fully kitted out regiment of Abyssal Horsemen.

Grant – 8/10
Great unit even if a tad pricey. Most armies will have at least 1 unit. 

Thomarsar – 7/10
Cavalry that unlocks, surprisingly fragile if hit by hammers, performs well against trickle damage and a good alpha strike unit.


Silverbreeze Cavalry

Marc – 5/10 or 8/10 (I’ve gone with 8/10 for the average score – Elliot)
So I guess this conversation goes here: I hate ranged attacks without piercing.  When you’re reliably able to hit de4+ or lower units, they can do some serious work, but if you’re going into a wall of de5+ or de6+ then those shots feel almost entirely useless.  That’s what makes it hard for me to give a reliable rating for this unit, because it entirely depends on what they’re up against.  If they’re able to work (de4+ and below) they become an easy 8/10, maybe 9/10, but if they’re up against de5+/de6+ then they dip to 5/10.  Especially considering that the meta largely seems to be de5+ with wound removal being not uncommon, doing 2-3 wounds per SB unit (average wounds vs de5 when hitting on 4’s = 2.72 wounds) never feels worth the points to me especially when that can sometimes be casually removed from low amounts of Heal or Radiance of Life or Regeneration or Life Leech.  Even focusing fire, two regiments do 4.5 wounds, which against even a 14/16 unit is still unlikely to even waver them.  Over two turns that’s 9 wounds dealt, so that’s not bad, but that’s also 400pts for your two regiments to half kill one def5 regiment by the time the lines start to clash.  

Image may contain: outdoor
Photo credit: Kevin McCusker

I do need to mention though, that against those high defense builds, the SB should instead be flanking chargers.  But I’ve found that even then, it makes them feel ‘not worthless’ and not ‘still valuable’.  Assuming an unhindered flank charge, that regiment averages 4.67 wounds on a de5 unit.  That’s not bad!  But would I rather those 200pts plus 10pts of other random stuff instead be another Fiend horde…?  In that situation, very much yes.  

If you use troops as your mobile chaff, that’s still points decently spent, but then you’re talking 130pts per troop, and you’re going to want probably at least 3 troops… so that’s 390pts for chaff and 21 total elite(ranged) attacks.  That *can* be worth it, but that’s a very meaningful investment compared to three gargoyle troops (255pts).  Now, the SB troops are considerably more resilient (de4 11/13 vs de3 8/10) and also have those bows, but still.  I, personally, if I was going to include any SB in a list, would take two regiments or possibly one regiment and two troops.  I would never take just the one regiment, and I would need to have a very solid plan for more than two regiments.

So, to summarize, I don’t think people are ever wrong in taking Silverbreeze.  When they can target even medium defense units they can feel almost overwhelmingly punishing.  But if you’re playing in a five-round tournament and you’re spending 400pts of your 2,000pt army (or 20%) on units that will decreased to only being maybe not entirely useless in at least two of your games (which in my experience, you’ll face easily at least three if not four all de5/de6 armies)… I find it hard to fully recommend them in a competitive build.  They can definitely be in a competitive list, but IMO you want reliably always useful units for a truly competitive list, and given their variance they just barely get pushed out of it for me.

Recommended items:  chant of hate (regiment only)

Elliot – 6/10
A unit that I haven’t experimented much with, but that I can definitely see the potential of. They don’t tend to fit in with how I personally play Twilight Kin, but I can see they’re a good unit. For me I’d stick to the troops in Twilight Kin, because if you’re dropping 200 points on a non-Cronebound unit, you need it to be regular.

Grant – 7/10
These are great if you build a list around the hit and move tactic.

Thomarsar – -/10


Cronebound Fiends

Marc – 7/10
See Cronebound Abyssal Horsemen.

Elliot – 7/10
I love these guys in regiments and my current list has three regiments as a fast, relatively hard hitting front line that can chaff and hold units in place whilst the rest of my army moves forward. They’re also wonderful at finding unexpected flanks as they criss-cross across the board. 

I’m not as big a fan of the hordes as I find them just a little bit too squishy for the amount of points that you need to invest in them, but I know that other Twilight Kin players swear by them.

Grant – 7/10
These are a unit that requires a lot of investment as without items or Bane Chant these guys are so hit and miss with 4+ to hit. 

Thomarsar – 5/10
Ok, but nothing special other than peeking above hills.


Cronebound Needle-fangs

Marc – 7/10
Pretty good chaff, but so long as you can also take gargoyles there’s no reason to take needlefangs instead. In a world where we don’t get gargoyles, needlefangs would absolutely dominate our chaff game.

Recommended items:  none

Elliot – 5/10
They’re a decent enough unit for their cost but I rarely find myself taking them. As regiments, I find that Gargoyles fill in the chaff role far better. As hordes, they’re actually quite a nice little unit and can add some much needed cheap bodies to a usually very small and elite army. Nothing wrong with them, but other stuff in the list tends to do the job better.

Grant – 4/10
Gargoyles just do it better.

Thomarsar – -/10


Bolt Thrower

Marc – 6/10
It’s hard to hate bolt throwers, really.  For 90pts, they’re not terrible at all, but even hitting on 4’s with elite(ranged) base they’ve never really done a lot for me.  Often you’re going to be hitting on 5’s from cover which still means you should reliably hit once for blast d(3), but… eh?  In the end, is that really worth 90pts?  Even taking a battery of two or three of them… I dunno.  I’m personally not impressed, but I don’t hate the idea of dropping some in if you feel strongly about them.

Elliot – 6/10
I think that Bolt Throwers are under rated as a War Engine as two Ra4 shots with Elite is really quite reliable damage. The big issue here is unlocks. Twilight Kin struggle for unlocks and if you have to choose between a War Engine and a Monster, the Monster is almost always going to win.

Photo credit: Kevin McCusker

Grant – 6/10
Good solid ranged option.

Thomarsar – -/10


Dragon Breath

Marc – 7/10
If Twilight Kin had more unlock slots for heroes/monsters/war engines, at least two Dragon Breath would be the first thing I would slot into my lists.  I feel like people really sleep on them, but 90pts for 12 elite shots is pretty alright especially as a chaff clearing.  Yes, it’s only sp 6 range 12”, but that’s still a walking threat of 18”.  The main reason I value these so high is because Twilight Kin can struggle with having a high volume of attacks from units that aren’t from high-cost units, and these provide just that.  As I insinuated though, I rarely find myself having the unlocks due to a high reliance on regiments to provide unlocks and how great our heroes and monsters are, but these are definitely worth considering.

Elliot – 5/10
Exact same issue regarding unlocks as the Bolt Thrower. Plus I find that the old breath attack style War Engines have taken a serious hit in V3 as they can now take multiple penalties to hit. Shooting at a Stealthy, Individual in Cover seriously dampens the potential of these units.

Grant – 5/10
Use to be better in 2nd edition, but with the change from Breath attacks to Ra4 Steady Aim, its now probably not worth the points.

Thomarsar – -/10


Cronebound Mind-screech

Marc – 8/10
If you’ve never played against three of these things putting out a reliable gunline, then you probably don’t fully understand how annoying these can be.  I would never take just one of them; if you’re taking a Mindscreech then you need to take as many as you possibly can.  A simple tactic is, with the Mindscreech being height 5, you can park them immediately behind a height 2 unit (like a spear horde) and fire over them without suffering cover penalties.  They’re also great to hang back on objectives while the rest of your force marches forward.  Only other thing really to note is that windblast and mindfog should not be forgotten; often on turns 5 and 6 these are much more valuable than lightning bolt.

Elliot – 9/10
What can I say? It’s stupidly good and we all know it. 

The excellent combination of spells combined with height 5 would make it a top tier unit in its own right. But then add in to the equation that it has decent Defence, Nerve and is Stealthy. And then add in the fact that it has Unit Strength 1, Fly, Nimble and Pathfinder. Oh and it’s only 150 points…

The only (and I mean only) issue with them in a Twilight Kin list is that they can be tricky to unlock, often limiting the number you can take.

Grant – 9/10
Expect to see at least 1 in every list.

Thomarsar – 10/10
 For the insane versatility.


Cronebound Shadow Hulk

Marc – 7/10
If you’re wanting a solid tank, look no further.  The Shadow Hulk falls into a similar category as the Mindscreech in that you never take just one of them; if you’re going to take any, take two.  Run them side by side (as most people can possibly alpha-strike to kill one giant; they cannot kill two) with Impalers behind them and you have a small fortress of destruction.  Plus taking two makes their offensive potential more reliable, as 2d6 has an expected value whereas 1d6 is true random.

Elliot – 7/10
Super tough block of high defence, Fearless nerve in a relatively compact footprint. They’re no slouch in combat either and they pair really nicely with the 18″ heal from the Summoner Crone’s Drain Life.

The only reason they’re not higher on my list is the fact that they’re competing with the Mindscreech for the monster unlock slot and 220 is just a little on the expensive side.

Grant – 7/10
Statistically one of the best giants in the game.

Thomarsar – 7/10
Good damage soaker and damage dealer.


Cronebound Banshee

Marc – 6/10
Banshees really aren’t bad at all.  If you’re going with triple Mindscreeches, I could see maybe taking one or two of them if you really wanted to try and go full gunline/windblast annoyance.  However, you’re going to run into the same issue we had with the Dragon Breath, in that your non-troop unlock slots get filled very fast, and it becomes very hard very fast to justify taking them over other options.  Still, I don’t hate them, but unless you’re somehow swimming in hero slots I end up avoiding them.
Recommended items:  boots of levitation, boots of the seven leagues

Elliot – 4/10
Another unit that I would rate far higher in a Nightstalker list than in a Twilight Kin one. As it is I find the Banshee just too expensive an option for a unit that doesn’t Inspire and is taking up one of my precious unlock slots. If I had the spare points, didn’t need Inspiring and had a free unlock slot… I’d just find 10 more points and take another Mindscreech.

Grant – 6/10
I can only see a use for her in very specifically built lists.

Thomarsar – -/10


Cronebound Archfiend

Marc – 5/10
 Man… I really, really want to like the Archfiend.  I have two of them and would love to put them on the table, but they consistently disappoint.  

I mean, look at this.  I know it’s not fair to compare units between armies, but still:

If I was given that choice, I would take the Overmaster every single time.  Yes, you lose brutal, fury, and fireball, but you gain regen(5+) and +1/+1 nerve, and let me tell you just how much the Archfiend loves to die.  Spoilers: it’s a lot.  One thing I will give it that is a common complaint is that it only has 9 attacks instead of the ‘standard’ 10 of other dragon-types.  Brutal, on average, essentially offsets the loss of that attack on average, even if you’re charging something in the rear.  That one attack hitting on a 3 and wounding on a 2 equals 0.55 wounds.  On an unhindered flank charge, brutal is still effectively equal and it’s not until you get to an unhindered rear charge that the 1 less base attack is potentially mathematically relevant.

Let’s talk about its fireball attack now.  Despite my love for the Dragon Breath, the fireball on the Archfiend largely feels like a waste.  Maybe possibly I wouldn’t hate it as much if the Archfiend was full vicious and not just vicious (melee)?  Requiring your dragon to park itself 12” away from its target will almost always put it in charge range of something, even if it’s something trivial.  But even gargoyles charging a dragon in the front are likely to do at least one wound, disorder/grounding it.  ”So then just put it even further out on a flank” you say?  Sure, I agree that helps keep it safe, but now one of your few sources of inspiring has run away.  And sure, you could take two Archfiends to run around being jerks and two Standard Bearers to give you inspiring coverage, but now that’s four unlocks of your probably 5 to 6 unlocks, so you’re going to lose out on your great monster/titans.  If ever Twilight Kin gets cheap(er) unlocking hordes then it becomes much easier to justify the hero slots, but as is… it’s a huge sacrifice.

Now, one thing that’s critical to mention that I haven’t yet is the Summoner Crone’s “Wicked Miasma” ability; being able to apply the wound removal aspect of drain life up to 18 inches away on units with the cronebound keyword is definitely a part of this conversation.  But that requires more heroes to support your heroes in an army that cannot casually add heroes, and even trying to couple two Archfiends with two or three Crones might mean the Archfiends survive longer, but at a noticeable drop in army-efficiency as a whole.  Even for a single Archfiend/double Crone package, with no additional options, that’s 500pts invested for drain life (12) and the Archfiend; best case we’re talking 25% of the army on a dragon-type unit and keeping it alive (for longer, I’m not convinced it doesn’t still die quicker than you can heal).

Despite all of my complaints and frustrations, it’s truly not unusable but I definitely don’t view it as a competitive option.  I love the models I have for them and my complaints likely won’t stop me from bashing my head against that wall trying to make the Archfiend actually work, but I’m truly not seeing the build that’s actually competitive featuring any of them.  It’s probably better than I’m rating it, but the ‘right’ build needs to be found to really make them work.

Recommended items:  staying stone, healing brew, blade of slashing, hann’s sanguinary scripture, mead of madness, trickster’s wand, brew of haste, crystal pendant of retribution

Elliot – 7/10
As Dragon equivalents go, the Archfiend is probably one of the less popular choices, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a good unit. Used well, an Archfiend can control an entire flank of the table. Its one of those units that doesn’t ever need to charge to make its points back, the distraction factor alone can be huge. Being Cronebound is a nice touch, letting a Summoner Crone keep it healthy even when its off harassing a flank or behind the lines.

Grant – 7/10
A lot of points for what is Twilight Kin’s only ‘dragon’ type unit. I really miss having the two dragon types from second edition…

Thomarsar – 4/10
Not tested, but seems too expensive.


Twilight Assassin

Marc – 5/10
If they had inspire(self) they would easily be a 7/10.  As-is, they’re far too fragile and easily routed, especially in a lightning bolt-rich meta.  When your opponent doesn’t have even a small amount of LB and the Assassin can run around freely it can be a constant thorn in your opponent’s foot, but almost every (competitive) list will have a tool to deal with them long before you get your value out of them.  I’d love for them have some form of inspiring, or fearless, or even a horse option, but alas here we are.  They also fall into the same trap as the Archfiend where you don’t get nearly enough unlock slots to really warrant spending them on a unit like this.

Recommended items:  blade of the beast slayer, inspiring talisman, boots of levitation, wings of honeymaze

Elliot – 6/10
I’m a big fan of the Assassins and I really want them to be good. What is really good about them is that they can realistically be doing damage for all 7 turns of the making them very point efficient – they’re excellent at chipping away at key targets. Sadly once again though, they’re competing for very in demand hero unlock slots and as they don’t Inspire, you’re having to give up quite a lot to fit an Assassin into your list.

Grant – 4/10
Overpriced. A wasted opportunity which is a shame as its a unit that had heaps of potential.

Thomarsar – 6/10
Fun to play with, can both be MVP and a major let down.


Soulbane

Marc – 8/10
With the loss of/change to the Scepter of Shadows on the Summoner Crone, the Soulbane becomes my hands down favorite hero in Twilight Kin.  The mount is almost mandatory to this unit, purely because it pushes them to sp9.  I don’t know how much experience you have with speed 9 units, but in a game that most frequently has speed 5/6, speed 8, and speed 10, having a disrupting unit that’s faster than most of those is incredibly valuable.  

Photo credit: Kevin McCusker

They’re also one of the few units in the list that I feel like can work perfectly fine without items, though having some doesn’t hurt.  I rarely invest more than 15pts in items on one, but the crystal pendant can be very annoying and effective.  The crystal pendant is typically more a mental deterrent than anything, as no player wants to charge it with their soul reavers or tyrants and take those 2d6 hits when you’ve got plenty of units behind that to finish off whatever gets caught in the explosion.  I’m not saying I strongly recommend the crystal at all, but it’s definitely something to consider.

In terms of use, they make amazing backline hunters, dragon hunters, and pseudo-chaff, and at de5 and 13/15 it’s typically unlikely that anything you’d use it to chaff against (i.e. cav units) will rout it on the countercharge.  Almost critically, being a highly mobile source of dread is a close second in the list of reasons to take one.  It may not be able to solo/one-round kill much, but it will absolutely excel in a hit-and-run style disrupting unit.  

My one major complaint is that they absolutely love to get wavered.  They very rarely get killed in one charge, but it seems like almost every time they manage to get charged they get wavered.  So make sure you have a plan for if, and likely when, that happens.  Try and think not just what you want to charge/disrupt with it this turn, but both what retreat lane it will take if wavered but also where and what it will charge into next. Its mobility is its strength, and to stay entrenched for too long typically means death.

It’s worth noting that it is commonly compared to Mikayel as they are very similar units.  That discussion is under Mikayel’s section, but the TLDR is that my preference is to take two mounted Soulbanes rather than Mikayel.

Recommended items:  blade of slashing, mace of crushing, staying stone, chalice of wrath, dwarven ale, mead of madness, sir jesse’s boots of striding, brew of haste, mournful blade, blade of the beast slayer, crystal pendant of retribution

Elliot – 8/10
Excellent unit that acts as a force multiplier. Mounted on a horse, the Soulbane can throw himself in wherever he is needed, bringing some reliable damage, Inspiring and Dread. I take mine with the Mace of Crushing to help keep him reliable, but I’ve also used him in the past with the Mournful Blade and the Blade of the Beast Slayer.

The reason I’ve not scored the Soulbane any higher than an 8 is actually the exact same as the horsemen. It’s fairly costed and it’s nerve is just one point too low to make it truly survivable.

Grant – 9/10
A great character that can consistently add damage to a fight.

Thomarsar – 5/10
He’s ok.


Summoner Crone

Marc – 7/10
Well here it is, the singular unit I feel that Twilight Kin as an army list are balanced and built around… and it honestly disappoints me.  Please don’t read that as I think it’s bad; it’s really not.  It does, however, feel that it isn’t impactful enough for what role I feel like the army list assumes it will do.  

The Crone has the Wicked Miasma ability, which allows it to heal any keyword cronebound unit within 18” rather than 6” when removing wounds from drain life.  With the change in Clash21, if you take the Scepter of Shadows [1] upgrade then Wicked Miasma lets you remove wounds on any friendly unit within 18”.  In addition, Crones have inspiring(cronebound only).  On paper, that sounds really great, and honestly it’s really not bad at all.  But you still only have drain life (6) per Crone.  I am not recommending this, but taking max (three) Crones is 285pts for max 18 drain life which, assuming you can cast them all in a turn against de4+, will deal/heal 6 wounds, and only 4 or 5 total against de5+.  Not bad, honestly, but also… eh?  It’s more than 300 points after the invariable item(s) added, and three of your hero slots, and you’re currently only inspiring cronebound units.  It’s worth mentioning possibly that the only unlocking cronebound unit are Horsemen, so chances are good that you’ve got a lot of core units that don’t currently have any sources of inspiring. 

To be clear (again), I do not hate Crones and I’m not asking for them to be buffed up to Mhorgoth levels of power.  I do feel, however, that Twilight Kin as a list was constructed with the idea that Crones will act as the core, and honestly they’re just kinda… not?  I mean, they can be, but they’re nowhere near impactful enough to be a highly rated unit.  They are definitely useful, and I don’t hate having one or two of them in a list, but I’m also not going to negatively judge a player for building a list with no Crones in it.  I would play them a lot more if they had elite or vicious on their spells (like the Magus in Varangur) or even if they could take weakness, but that isn’t to say they’re not worth including currently as-is.

I do want to discuss their spell options briefly as well.  With how much CS(1) Twilight Kin have, it’s very tempting to add bane chant to their spell list and I’m here to tell you that’s a mistake.  If you are close/engaged enough that you would want to cast bane chant, you’re almost always better off doing a few extra wounds/healing from drain life instead.  If you’re in a war engine or ranged attack heavy meta, I really don’t hate Veil of Shadows but only if you’re giving the crone a horse, levitation, or the wings so that it can keep up with the units it needs to protect while they run and the Crone is stuck just advancing.

Recommended items:  summoner’s staff, piercing arrow, boots of levitation, wings of honeymaze

Elliot – 8/10
A really good Wizard with a very strong default spell, a decent selection of additional spells, Inspiring to Cronebound units and a truly fantastic special rule that can help an otherwise small and elite army seem much more durable than it otherwise might.

I’ve rated them an 8 because for Summoner Crones to work well you need to invest heavily into them. This also means that they limit your other army choices – if you’re paying lots of points into Summoner Crones, you pretty much need to also be taking lots of Cronebound units. My annoyance with the Summoner Crone is less based around her stats, and more the fact that when you take one you’re pretty much forcing your list down a very specific funnel. I explore this more in my first impressions article about Twilight Kin.

Grant – 9/10
Expensive but almost essential in every single list.

Thomarsar – 9/10
Must have for most lists, Drain Life (6) is very good, coupled with “free” Inspiring on many units in the army.


Elven Prince

Marc – 5/10
The prince suffers the same fate as the Assassin, sadly.  If we had plentiful hero unlocks then I could see taking a couple of them as cheap disruptors, but there’s just too much demand on those hero slots.  Still, if you ever do take them, absolutely take the mount upgrade and nothing else.
Recommended items:  none

Elliot – 4/10
My score of a 4 is probably a bit harsh. The unit itself isn’t awful, it’s more that I don’t think it’ll ever find a place in a Twilight Kin list. Twilight Kin are an army where every unlock counts, they’re also an army that can struggle for Inspiring sources.

All the Prince does in my opinion is take up a valuable unlock slot without bringing much needed Inspiring to the table. Just upgrade him to a Soul Bane or spend the points on Gargoyles.

Grant – 4/10
The Soulbane or the Army Standard Bearer just does the same roles, but better.

Thomarsar – -/10


Army Standard Bearer

Marc – 7/10
It’s a standard bearer, not much else to say.  I don’t hate the heal or lightning bolt items, but it’s far from a primary option.  

Recommended items:  lute of insatiable darkness, shroud of the saint, the boomstick, 

Elliot – 7/10
It’s a cheap Inspiring source with decent enough nerve and speed 6 to get it where it needs to be. Plus having Me4 and Elite (melee) is just funny and has been used to sit a dragon down on two occasions so far.

Grant – 9/10
“Cheap” inspiration. Fairly standard…

Thomarsar – 6/10
 Does what ASB does, ME 4 and Elite is slightly better than other ASBs.


Mikayel, Lord of Nightmares

Marc – 8/10
I’m expecting my opinion to be slightly contentious, especially given my rating: Mikayel is good, but I don’t ever take him.  Objectively, he does a lot of work; he’s a super-juiced mounted Soulbane that gains an attack, one nerve, fearless, iron resolve, and bumps up to CS(2), but also doubles his attacks when charging heroes, monsters, and titans.  It’s hard to hate that at all, and I really don’t… except.   Then there’s the matter of his price.  For the price of one Mikayel (260pts), you can instead get two mounted Soulbanes (310pts).  Yes, that difference of 50pts is very meaningful, but IMO being able to get two activations and two different sources of inspiring and dread makes up for that.  

Photo credit: Grant Alexander

It can be argued that I’m comparing apples and oranges in that they don’t function the same, and I don’t entirely disagree.  The Soulbane can only ever hope to ground a dragon to hold it up for a turn while a real unit positions to knock it out the turn after while Mikayel most likely wins the solo fight against a dragon, especially if he gets the first charge.  So to a point it depends on what you want your melee solo to do.  My style of play is to not have so many points wrapped up in a single individual and I would much rather set up a one-two punch with a Soulbane than hope that I don’t flub one round of attacks with Mikayel and have him die before he can take out the opposing dragon.

And then there’s the quasi-valid concern of what happens if you’re facing a list without any monsters or titans, are you wasting points on a power you’re not using, but I really don’t put much stock in that.  Yes, that could be true and not uncommon to face lists without monsters/titans, but they’re almost always going to have heroes (mayyyyybe Nightstalkers won’t take a hero? maybe?), but it does turn him into an overpriced Soulbane with duelist.

So again, he is objectionably powerful, but for how I build lists and play my games, he never gets table time.  But if that’s your jam, have at it!

Elliot – 5/10
Oh Mikayel… I want to love you, I really do. On paper Mikayel is an absolute beast with a fantastic stat line and a really cool special rule that makes Dragons sit up and pay attention to him. But he’s 105 points more expensive than a mounted Soulbane. 105!

Every time I think about taking him, I decide that a mounted Soulbane could fill the same role almost as well and I invest those 105 points somewhere else. Shame because he’s such a cool unit.

Grant – 8/10
My personal favourite character in the game. At the substantial price you pay he needs to be in the right place vs correct enemy. He can be star player if allowed to shine. 

Thomarsar – 9/10
Very expensive, but worth every penny.


Summary

Overall Average Rating /10 – 6.5/10

Most agreed upon unit(s)- Shadowhulk, Bolt Thrower (all four players agreed)

Least agreed upon unit(s) – Soulbane, Kindred Archers, Mikayel (4 points of difference between the top and bottom ratings)


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Elliot’s Beer Fund

If you’ve enjoyed the blog and you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a pint. Please dont feel any obligation to do so, I’ve started this blog because it’s fun, not to make any money. Any money received will go towards hosting costs. Or my beer fund… ok mainly my beer fund.

£3.00

Call to Arms 5 – Round 5 stats

Tournament Stats

The scenario for this round was Control. Control always makes my head hurt – having to do the maths in Turn 6, especially on the clock seems simple on paper but I always seem to mess it up.

For those of you that played at the recommended 1800 points this round (and 83% of you did), Control presented an even greater challenge than usual as you were left trying to cover the entire board with fewer units.

The average score per round again remained very consistent with previous rounds – go Northern Kings Scoring System!

Image may contain: text that says "Difficult Height9 Blocking Height Hill Height3 Blocking Height9 Hill Height 3 Difficult Height 9 Difficult Height 9 Difficult Flat Blocking Height 9"

Where as last round, everything on the map was very small, this round everything was very tall. Once again I head cries that this was a map where Pathfinder armies would rule, despite their being no difficult terrain in a large section of the middle of the board. Interestingly I see these kind of reactions whenever a map is presented that skews one way or another, but they haven’t once panned out in the results yet.

You’ll be glad to know that I’ve not designed the map for Round 6, so you might actually get a balanced game this time. How boring will that be!

I know that table below might be a bit small to show up on smaller screens, but I thought it was interesting to show how different armies got on in different rounds.

Empire of Dust continue to top the table as the most popular army to play, but there was a fairly even spread of different armies played this round… apart from Brothermark. No one seems to like Brothermark.


Army Stats

Once again, I’ve pulled out the stats separately for the top 10 most played armies as these are the ones with enough data to be able to compare against each other with any kind of reliability.

The Abyssal Dwarfs entered the Top 10 most played lists this round (they were 11th last round) and in doing so immediately jumped to the top of the table for win percentage – and that’s despite them having a pretty dreadful Round 5.


Country Stats

Call to Arms 5 – Round 4 stats

Tournament Stats

The scenario for Round 4 was Loot, a scenario that I don’t see used very often anymore. It seems to have been overtaken by the more trendy newer variants of Loot; Plunder and Push – which are incidentally two of my favourite scenarios.

The number of Drawn games stayed high this round, but I was far less surprised to see this than I was for Raze. With only three opportunities to score points, Loot is a scenario that lends itself to a lot of Draws. This is something that a TO might want to keep in mind – if they find that a lot of players are ending up with similar results, introducing a scenario like Loot into round four of your event could help split up the field more by introducing a higher number of Draws.

Again, its nice to see that the Northern Kings Scoring System is looking healthy for Loot, with the average score for winning a game holding within a 0.3 range across the entire event so far.

The map for this round was… divisive. I introduced a few things that you would never normally see on a table including Height zero and two blocking terrain. There was also nothing on the table higher than Height 2.

I’m not sure if anyone loved it, but plenty of people hated it. People threatened to drop out of the event and I was told that this would be a round dominated by Nightstalkers and war engines.

I was told me that you were going to get instantly shot off the board, unless of course you’d brought Nightstalkers in which case you’d be laughing. I was curious if this was the case so I pulled up the win percentage for each round for Nightstalker, Goblins and Abyssal Dwarfs (the two main war engine shooting lists).

Not exactly what I’d call a walk over… Nightstalkers had their worst round yet and the two shooting heavy armies performed no better or worse than they have in previous rounds.

I’m planning on writing an article on the thinking behind all of the Call to Arms maps after the sixth map is released, but in a nutshell the whole idea behind them is to give people a different challenge and to let them think about terrain in a way that they normally wouldn’t.

For many people (me included) hobby burnout is becoming a real issue during lockdown, so the hope with the different styles of maps was to give people the chance to try something new and experience a different challenge.

The Call to Arms TOs are split on what kind of maps to use in future events, so if you’ve liked the different maps, do let us know. It’d be good to know if people want to see something like these again in the future or if you’d prefer us to go back to a more ‘standard’ Epic Dwarf style of map.

Dry Undead have taken the lead in terms of popularity this round. Nightstalkers were the most popular faction this round (probably because people believed that the map would lead to them getting shot at), but this was also Nightstalkers worst performing round in terms of win percentage.


Army Stats

Look at Free Dwarfs go! Scoring the highest average bonus points! Of course that doesn’t mean a whole lot because they’ve only been used 7 times, compared to the Empire of Dust who have been used 33 times, but still… go Free Dwarfs!

Seeing as there are now such wide gaps between army usage, I’ve decided to pull out the figures just for the top 10 most used factions. This allows us to properly compare the different armies as we have a good amount of games played for them.

Undead are starting to slowly pull away in terms of win percentage, but Nightstalkers are holding on to the top spot in terms of percentage of the enemy killed.


Country Stats

Norway is clearly OP and needs a nerf.

Call to Arms 5 – Round 3 Stats

We’re half way through Call to Arms 5 and to celebrate, I thought I’d get the stats out to you in record time.

Tournament Stats

The scenario for round 3 was Raze. Personally this is one of my least favourite scenarios as I feel that the ‘score as you go’ mechanic doesn’t fit well with the rest of Kings of War. You can often find yourself in very asymmetrical situations where your opponent has already claimed all your objectives, but you’re still trying to get theirs. At that stage, one person is playing Kill and the other is still trying to play a scenario game.

Of course, my opinion on the scenario has no relevance to the stats…

Continuing the theme of using the terrain to make players think a bit differently, I presented this monstrosity of a map! The idea behind it was to force players to think ahead about how they were going to reach their opponent’s Raze counters, when so many of their movement lanes were closed off by Obstacles.

I can at least say that no one can ever accuse me of designing maps that benefit myself, seeing as after putting together this map I went and played infantry Dwarfs!

One thing that I’ve been interested to track this Call to Arms is the number of Draws per scenario. I’m also intending to go back through the data from previous Call to Arms to do a bit of analysis there as well. While a high number of Draws isn’t a bad thing, I always think there is merit from a TO point of view in knowing which scenarios are more likely to provide a decisive result and which may lead to more Draws in a round.

Another stat that I’m tracking more for myself as a TO, is the average score per round. This lets me gauge the health of the Northern Kings Scoring System as we aim to have each scenario be as evenly weighted as possible – the scenario in Round 1 shouldn’t be more lucrative than Round 6 for example. At the moment, it looks like we’re in a good place, with the average score for the winners remaining within a range of 0.3 points.

Both wet and dry Undead continue to hold the top spot for most popular army, closely pursued by Nightstalkers and Salamanders.

Every army has been used at least once now. It looks like Twilight Kin generals are the most consistent, as they’re the only army to have been used the same number of times each round.


Army Stats

Nightstalkers enjoyed their five minutes of fame as the most successful army in the tournament, before being toppled by the usual incumbents of Abyssal Dwarfs and Undead. Abyssal Dwarfs are currently sitting on a 2:1 win/loss ratio so the changes to the Angkor Heavy Mortar and Ignore Cover rules didn’t seem to have as big an impact as some people were claiming they would.

As the most popular army with the largest dataset, you would expect that Undead should be the most likely to fall to an average 50% win rate – it stands to reason that players from across all skill levels will be using them. However, having lost only 7 of their 26 games, I think its fair to say that there might be some truth in the idea that Undead are the strongest faction in Kings of War at the moment… maybe a little too good.

The biggest shock of the tournament so far is Varangur with an abysmal 20% win rate from 15 games. I’m personally surprised by this as I’ve always found Varangur to be a solid army. I also though they would do well with the map in Round 3, as their heavy hitting Frostfang hordes come with built in Strider. What do people think about Varangur? Is this a spate of bad luck or a sign of wider issues with the list?

Clearly still angry about the loss of their Stampedes and Eagles, the Herd have taken their frustrations out on their opponents, scoring the highest average kill percentage. The Order of the Brothermark on the other hand are clearly too pious for bloodshed with a pitiful 44.5% average kill percentage.

Country Breakdown

Call to Arms 5 – Round 1 & 2 Stats

Ok ok, I know I’m late! Sadly real life has got the better of me the past few weeks and I’ve had to focus on work rather than toy soliders. So a little later than planned I can finally present to you….

Round 1 & 2 stats for Call to Arms 5!

Tournament Stats

The scenario for round 1 was Plunder and round 2 was Dominate. There are 120 players this time around, from 15 different countries.

For the first time on Call to Arms, players have been asked to all play their games on the same map. The maps so far have all been designed by yours truly and I think its fair to say that they have split opinions!

The design of each map has been focused on making players think about having to either design their list or change how they play a little differently to your usual ‘vanilla’ Kings of War map. But let me know, have you enjoyed the maps so far or would you prefer us to go back to more standard symertrical maps?

During Round 1, there were 6 Draws, dropping to 0 in Round 2. I was surprised by that as I often find that Dominate is one of the easier scenarios to Draw on.

Its clear to see that the recent changes to Undead (and to a lesser extent Empire of Dust) in the CoK21 balance changes hasn’t done much to dampen Undead player’s enthusiasm. Either wet or dry, Undead are still the most popular army by quite a way in the opening rounds.

Both version of the Brotherhood are currently languishing unloved at the bottom of the pile. I’m sure there are some valiant Brotherhood generals out there that can show us all what they’re capable of – if nothing else it would be a fairly easy way to win yourself a ‘Best in Race’ award.


Army Stats

While it is still early days, a couple of armies have already started to pull ahead in terms of Win percentage. The biggest winners so far are the Nightstalkers, with an impressive 72.7% win percentage from 11 games – Nightstalkers are the army to beat going into the final four rounds.

Nightstalkers haven’t just won, they’ve won big. They’re currently topping the tables for both Kill Percentage and Bonus Points scored.


Country Stats

The Northern Kings Scoring System

A PDF version of this page can be found here.
A blank scoresheet for use in your tournaments can be found here.

What is it?
It is a system for determining the score each player achieves following a game of Kings of War.

It is predominately for use in tournaments to determine the winner of the tournament, but there is no reason it couldn’t be used in friendly games as well

How is it different from other systems?
We’re not shy in saying that we’ve taken our favourite parts of lots of other scoring systems and put them into one system, so nothing in here will be completely new. We’ve not tried to re-invent the wheel, just bring together all of the bits that we think are the best from other systems.

The main difference to most other commonly used scoring systems, is that our system uses positive only scoring. This means that you only ever score points based on what you do, you don’t take points away from your opponent and you can’t conserve points through inaction (also known as running away!).

How does it work?
The details of how the scores are calculated are explained further on, but put simply your final score is made up of three criteria.

1.) Did you Win, Lose or Draw?
2.) How well did you do on the scenario?
3.) How much of your opponents army did you kill?

The two main pillars of the system are; it’s a POSITIVE ONLY scoring system and there is ALWAYS something to play for, even when you know you can’t win the scenario.

Unlike some other system, in the Northern Kings scoring system you score points for how much you kill, not the difference between what you and your opponent kill. This is to encourage players to go all out!

If its getting towards the end of the game and you know you can’t win, then you can always score some points by seeing how much of your opponents army you can kill. There’s no risk to you, because you don’t lose anything if your opponent kills your units, you can only gain points.


Where you finish in a tournament is made up of two factors – your Tournament Points (TPs) and Kill Points. Players are ranked first by their Tournament Points (TPs) and then their Kill Points will be used to decide ties. At the end of each game, players report the results of their game to the Tournament Organiser (TO) using their score sheet.

Tournament Points (TPs)
The amount of Tournament Points (TPs)  you have scored in your game is calculated using three criteria:

Win, Loss, Draw

Scenario Points (SP)
Calculate the number of Scenario Points (SP) you scored from the scenario at the end of the game. For example; the total objectives you hold at the end of the game in Pillage. Each scenario has its own way of scoring Victory Scenario Points (SP).

ScenarioHow Scenario Points (SP) are scored
PillageUse 7 Objective Markers. Score one bonus SP for each Objective Marker that you control at the end of the game.
LootScore two bonus SPs for each Loot counter that you hold at the end of the game.
PushUse 2 tokens per player. Score one bonus SP for each loot token you hold at the end of the game (this increases to two if the unit holding it is entirely within your opponent’s board half).
DominateScore one bonus SP for each scoring unit that has the majority of its footprint within 12” of the centre of the playing area at the end of the game.
InvadeScore one bonus SP for each scoring unit that has the majority of its footprint on the opposing player’s half of the board at the end of the game.
ControlScore one bonus SP for each zone you control at the end of the game Score an additional +1 SP if you control the middle zone in your opponents half.
KillWe recommend that you do not use the Kill scenario in the Northern Kings scoring system.
RazeScore one bonus SP for each ‘Claimed Objective Marker’ that you scored throughout the game. Score a bonus two SPs if you hold the central Objective Maker at the end of the game.
PlunderScore one bonus SP for each Loot Counter you hold at the end of the game. Score two SPs for each Primary Loot Counter you hold at the end of the game.
Fool’s GoldScore bonus SPs equal to the number of Victory Points you scored at the end of the game.
Smoke & MirrorsScore bonus SPs equal to the number of Victory Points you scored at the end of the game.
Salt the EarthScore one bonus SP for each Objective Marker that you control at the end of the game.

For each Scenario Points (SP) earned, add a Tournament Point (TP) to your total to a maximum of +5 Tournament Point (TP).

Kill Points

Calculate the total value of your opponent’s army that was routed during the game. Compare this total to the table below.



A PDF version of this page can be found here.
A blank scoresheet for use in your tournaments can be found here.