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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)

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.

Road to Cologne – Facemasks, Painting and Beer

There really is no motivator like a looming deadline.

A few days ago I shared the list I’m going to be bringing to the Kings of War GT Germany.

At that point I only had two units painted, the Abyssal Horsemen. Since then I’ve been painting my socks off and have somehow managed to get the majority of the army finished – only four characters left to go.

Gifts From a Foreign Land

One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed when other players go off to tournaments abroad, is the tradition of bringing gifts to hand out to your opponent – a sort of cultural exchange.

Alongside the usual custom dice, I’ve decided to share some of the fine produce of Yorkshire. Or at least, things that I can fit in my suitcase that has Yorkshire written on in!

I’m very tempted to whip up a batch of Yorkshire puddings in my AirBnB the morning of the tourament.

One part of tournament prep that has changed since my last event, is having to decide what facemask to bring. Masks are required throughout the event, along with a few other restrictions like not standing around tables etc. I have to give a big shoutout to Wolfgang the TO, who has done an excellent job of keeping us all up to date with the most recent situation and requiremts regarding COVID.

Masks are uncomfortable and I don’t like wearing them, but they’re a very small price to pay if it means we can safely meet up to play games again.

The Army

I’m not much of a painter and even by my standards this isn’t my best work, but seeing as I painted all of the models below in under a week, I’m pretty happy with the results.

This is my first 100% Mantic army and I have to say I’ve been constantly surprised by how good their models look when you get them in your hands. The Elf range was the biggest surprise as I’ve always been put off by the photography on the Mantic website in the past.

I’ve got a warm up game this Thursday where I’ll be using the army (and the list) for the very first time so I’ll grab some photos of the completed army then.

And then it’s off to the airport Friday morning – I genuinely can’t wait.

Road to Cologne – the Twilight Kin march to war

It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything on here. In between an international global pandemic and much more mundane real life stuff, I haven’t had as much time to sit down and write out a blog post for a couple of months now.

But in 10 days time I’m going to be setting off to an actual real life Kings of War tournament. And not just any old tournament, this is going to be my first trip abroad for Kings of War (or any wargame for that matter) – I’m going to Cologne, Germany.

The Kings of War scene in Germany has been slowly growing pace over the past few years with several one day tournaments taking place across the country. The Kings of War Germany GT, run by The Privateer Poza Boyz wargaming club is going to be the country’s first two day GT style tournament which is a massive milestone in growing the game.

The tournament is 5 games at 2000 points using the blackjack scoring system.

As this is my first tournament since the start of lockdown and my first international tournament, I’ve decided to keep a of record of the build up and the event itself here on my blog.

In this first post I’m going to go over how I came up with my list, including a bit of a breakdown of each unit I’ve taken.

Then in future posts I’ll show you updates on my painting (I’ve currently painted 2/19 units…), some of the ‘cultural exchange’ gifts I’m putting together to take with me and finally photos and reports from the tournament itself.

My List

I always knew that I wanted to paint a brand new army to this event because weekend GTs have always been my main motivator to get painting – sadly that motivation hasn’t really kicked in this time so now its more going to be a panicked rush to the finish to get them all done.

I started thinking about what army this would be months ago and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to take the Twilight Kin off Universal Battle and proxy bases and into a real physical army.

The list I’ve gone with is the current iteration of my constantly evolving Twilight Kin. You can see some similarities to my first few Twilight Kin lists but I’ve actually moved the bulk of it around.

The biggest change for this tournament is the inclusion of the Shadow Hounds. To fit them in I’ve had to drop a troop of Gargoyles and the Bolt Thrower – the Bolt Thrower was an easy decision in the end, the Gargoyles I may live to regret.

The list isn’t designed to be uber competitive and there are definitely a few unit choices that are in there more because I think they’re cool rather than being the ‘best’ choice. But its a good solid all round mixed arms list that I have a lot of fun using and showcases Kings of War at its best in my opinion.

Bolt Throwers (that have now been dropped)
I still believe in Bolt Throwers, I think they’re incredibly reliable damage dealers that can be fairly well trusted to do a couple of points of damage every turn. They’re best suited to either picking off chaff or piling in with other shooting to tip nerve checks over the edge.

But there were a few things that held them back in my list.

The two Tallspear hordes mean that I have two very wide foot prints blocking the Bolt Thrower’s line of sight. As most chaff is height 2 (Gargoyles, Gur Panthers, Snow Foxes etc) this meant that the Bolt Throwers couldn’t effectively do their chaff clearing role without me having to position my entire army in a way to give them clear shots.

The Bolt Thrower also couldn’t do its second role of adding on to other shooting, because I haven’t really got that much shooting in this list. At least not above 6-12″.

I haven’t fallen out of love with Bolt Throwers and I’m sure I’ll add them back in future Twilight Kin lists, but for now they’re out.

Kindred Tallspears & Army Standard Bearer w. Lute
Who needs Palace Guard hordes when you can have Tallspear hordes with Brew of Strength?!

I love these two units they’re absolute work horses in the list acting as both hammer and anvils. Thanks to phalanx and high nerve they can absorb a charge from pretty much anything (so long as they’re not too badly multicharged) and backed up with Bane Chant and Drain Life, there isn’t much in the game that they can’t kill in one go.

Combine that with Speed 6 and between them they can threaten a huge area of the board at a time. I’ve bundled them together with the Army Standard Bearer with the Lute because they’re pretty much always going to be together – Bane Chant tips these hordes over the edge in terms of killing power.

These two units form the battle line that the rest of my army plays around, so they’re probably my most important units in terms of deployment.

Abyssal Horsemen
Two regiments of Abyssal Horsemen are the only thing that has stayed completely consistent in every Twilight Kin list I’ve used, I love these units that much.

The two Horsemen regiments are the main mobile punch in my list. They can’t take a charge anywhere like as well as the Tallspears, and at 14/16 they’re surprisingly vulnerable to shooting. But when they get an unhindered charge off they hit like a train. Yet again when stacked with either Drain Life, Bane Chant or the Soul Bane these units can one shot pretty much any threat – notice a pattern emerging?

I’ve gone for the Brew of Sharpness and Blessing of the Gods on mine, rather than the usual Pathfinder/ Strider you see on a lot of cavalry options. The reason for this is that I like to get the maximum efficiency out of my items, especially when using Twilight Kin because they’re usually so out numbered. Sharpness/ Elite do something for you every single combat you’re in whether you’re hindered, counter charging or charging ‘cleanly’. Pathfinder/ Strider are both excellent rules but you’re paying points for something that only works some of the time – I prefer to take something that works all of the time.

I tend to run one regiment alongside the Tallspear hordes and one out on the flank with the Soulbane. I’ve had quite a few games where a regiment of Horsemen and the Soulbane have managed to hold a whole flank down on their own the entire game – even if not they tend to take a lot of stuff down with them.

Soulbane
A slightly more paired down Soulbane than I’m used to because I didn’t have any points left for the bells and whistles. But even without any artefacts or upgrades he’s still one of the best mounted individuals in the game.


He’s just an all round solid and reliable combat character. The best part about him is definitely his Dread special rule, letting him contributes to multiple combats at once. Like lots of stuff in this army, he’s all about being as efficient as possible.

Twilight Assassin
I love the Assassin, I think it might be more heart than head, but I love them.

Fitting with the theme of being an incredibly point efficient unit the Assassin has the very real possibility of doing a consistent 2-3 damage for 7 turns of the game. That’s if I can learn to use them properly and keep them out of harms way!

The turn 1, 14″ Scout charge is very tempting but it is usually the wrong tactical decision…

Summoner Crone
I absolutely love Summoner Crones. In terms of game play and fluff wise they’re one of my all time favourite units in Kings of War.

In previous lists I’ve had as many as three fully tooled up Crones, but I’ve paired that back considerably here, simply because I’ve reduced the amount of Cronebound units in my army.

The value of the Summoner Crones is directly proportional to the amount of Cronebound units you’re taking and when I was running three Summoner Crones, I also had two Cronebound Butcher hordes and a horde of Cronebound Fiends.

I’ve talked in the past about how the Summoner Crones can cause ‘list design funnelling’ for the Twilight Kin, pushing you away from the Elf choices in the list. Who knows, maybe that’ll change in the next Clash of Kings book…

This time round I’ve gone for one Crone with the Sceptre of Shadows (for Drain Life (9)) and the Boots of Levitation. I always find it a fairly 50/50 toss up between the Boots or the Wings of Honeymaze on the Summoner Crone. I went for the Boots this time because the extra 2″ range and +1 Defence is nice, and I already have a decent amount of Inspiring in the list so I’m less likely to need to be flying 20″ in order to Inspire an at risk unit

Cronebound Shadowhound
These are a brand new unit for me so I’m not sure how they’ll work. On paper I really like the look of them.

I added them into my list to try and solve a problem. All of my units are very very killy but also very expensive – this means that I’m constantly outnumbered and have to use expensive units to kill cheap ones. The Shadow Hounds are there to go chasing after the stuff that isn’t worth the Horsemen’s time but is too important to ignore. I’m thinking of things like a Zombie regiment sat at the back of the board on an objective, or a troop of archers that are plinking wounds off here and there. Add in to that the potential for a cheeky 18″ nimble flank charge and the fact that they’re unit strength 3 – I think these may be a really helpful addition to my list.

Gargoyles
Probably still the best chaff in the game – what else can I say about them that hasn’t already been said.

I’m going to regret dropping down to one troop, I know I am, but I really wanted another combat unit in the list and the Gargoyles were the only ‘spare’ points I had without totally compromising the list elsewhere.

But I know there’s going to be a moment in the tournament where I’ll kick myself for not having two troops…

Cronebound Mindscreech
I’ve included one Mindscreech in the list to act as a chaff/individual hunter – one Lighting Bolt (6) isn’t going to do anything to a regiment/ horde but is just enough to pick off some key targets.

The biggest strength of the Mind-screech isn’t actually its Lightning Bolt, its the flying unit strength. The Mindscreech is able to fire pot shots all game and then fly out at the end and claim an objective – yet again very efficient unit that is adding value every single turn.


So that’s the list. Hopefully I’ll be back in a few days time with a painting update – wish me luck!


Call to Arms – Final Results & Awards!

That’s it, we’re done! 429 games of Kings of War played and spanning a total of approximately 1287 hours. That’s 53.6 days of Kings of War goodness. If Call to Arms was working a minimum wage job in the UK, it would have earnt itself £11,222 for all this work (before tax!).

I’ve decided to split the stats for round 6 and the final results and awards into two pages. You can find all of the stats for round 6 on the link below or you can look back at the stats for all six round by clicking here.

The final standings can be found at the bottom of this page.


So, without further ado I present to you the winners of the illustrious prizes* of A Call to Arms IV

*Actual prizes not included. Bragging rights only.

First Overall
Tom Robinson, United Kingdom

Second Overall
Paul Brown, United Kingdom

Third Overall
Alex Kus, Canada

The Wooden Spoon
Bryce Clark, United States

Bloodiest General
Highest percentage of enemy army killed
Tom Robinson, 93.9%
Alex Kus, 87.4%
Stephen Devenish, 81.9%

The Pacifist
Lowest percentage of enemy army killed
Steve Forster, 31.8%
Richard A Rodgers, 38.8%
Bryce Clark, 40.1%


The Right Place at the Right Time
Scored the 1,000,000th kill point of the tournament
Adam Padley vs Justin Berg, Round 6


Lords of War
Country with the highest win percentage (‘Big five’)
Canada, 50.7%

A Lover Not a Fighter
Country with the lowest win percentage (‘Big five’)
United States, 41.1%

A Breakdown in Diplomacy
Country with the highest average percentage killed
Singapore, 74.7%

Just Taking in the Scenery
Country with the lowest average percentage killed
France, 52.9%

Their People’s Champion
Highest Scoring Player per Country


Argentina
Exequiel ARG, 111


Australia
Stephen Devenish, 128
Andrew Goodman, 123
Tas Stacey, 117


Canada
Alex Kus, 130
Mark Campbell, 119
Jesse Bilbija, 113

Czech Republic
Shizunk, 94

Finland
Heikka Valja, 91


France
Fabien Hodot, 80

Germany
Manuel Roemisch, 99
Clement Quinson, 94
Daniel Plack, 75


Ireland
Robert Alexander, 96


Norway
Thomas B Aleksandersen, 116
Andreas Orlyng, 95


Singapore
Page Neo, 117


South Africa
Saul Smith, 68


Spain
Luis Serra, 113
Antonio Carrasco, 111
Asier Lopez, 93


United Kingdom
Tom Robinson, 145
Paul Brown, 132
Steven Pearce, 122


United States
Keith Randall, 116
Kris DeGrow, 115
Ryan Munsell, 113


Easily Distracted
Highest Scoring player who changed armies each round
Cyle Pool, 110
Jeremy Duvall, 110
Michael Pearcy, 100

Loyal to the End
Highest Scoring player who played the same army every round
Paul Brown, 132
Alex Kus, 130
Andrew Goodman, 123

Stubborn to a Fault
Lowest Scoring player who played the same army every round
Bryce Clarke, 46


Best in Race

Sit Back, Shoot and Watch the Wins Roll In
Best in Race, Abyssal Dwarfs
1st) Andrew Goodman, 123
2nd) Alan Wigness, 92
3rd) Matt Goody, 84

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an Elohi? No! Its Super Dragon!
Best in Race, Basileans
1st) Mark Campbell, 119
2nd) George Kirke, 91
3rd) Eldon Krosch, 87

Hipsters on Horseback – You can all say you were playing them before they were cool
Best in Race, Order of the Brothermark
1st) Tyler Schulz, 68
2nd) Steve Hildrew, 25
3rd) Tony Winmill, 22

Order of the Magic Hippies
Best in Race, Order of the Green Lady
1st) Page Neo, 117
2nd) Keith Randall, 94
3rd) Jose Vega, 79

Coming Up Short
Best in Race, Dwarfs
1st) Andrew Heinrich, 94
2nd) Asier Lopez, 93
3rd) Fabien Hodot, 80

Who needs Ra4!
Best in Race, Elves
1st) Paul Brown, 132
2nd) Daniel Plack, 67
3rd) Robert Lee, 34

Undead Retirement Home
Best in Race, Empire of Dust
1st) Kris DeGrow, 115
2nd) Adam Ballard, 99
3rd) Robert Alexander, 96

Flower Powers
Best in Race, Forces of Nature
1st) Jeff Traish, 71
2nd) Drew Richardson, 59
3rd) Bryce Clark, 36

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Mastiffs of War!!
Best in Race, Free Dwarfs
1st) Bob Aspland, 49
2nd) Billy Smith, 47
3rd) Michael Pearcy, 22

Its Fun to be Bad
Best in Race, Forces of the Abyss
1st) Clement Quinson, 94
2nd) Juancho Bernabeu, 81
3rd) Todd Serpico, 56

The Greenie Meanies
Best in Race, Goblins
1st) Stephen Devenish, 49
2nd) Steve Forster, 43
3rd) Rian James, 41

Perfectly Average in Every Way
Best in Race, Kingdoms of Men
1st) Exequiel ARG, 102
2nd) Garrett Mercier, 82
3rd) Gareth Davies, 53

They’re Talking the Halfling to Isenguard, to Isenguard
Best in Race, League of Rhordia
1st) Tom Robinson, 96
2nd) Shizunk, 32
3rd) Brindley Smith, 30

They Find You Very Inspiring
Best in Race, Nightstalkers
1st)Robert Allen, 93
2nd) Blake Robertson, 86
3rd) Erasmus Burger, 82

Lets it go! Let it go! Can’t hold it back any more!
Best in Race, Northern Alliance
1st) Tas Stacey, 117
2nd) Jeff Horton, 90
3rd) Chris Fisher, 84

Get Ogre it!
Best in Race, Ogres
1st) Josh Rosado, 88
2nd) Matt Young, 82
3rd) Mike Szedlmayer, 71

Well this is Orc’ward
Best in Race, Orcs
1st) Kara Brown, 86
2nd) Mathew Vermeiren, 86
3rd) Andy Marshall, 61

Getting a bit Ratty
Best in Race, Ratkin
1st) Si Brand, 108
2nd) Dan Miner, 79
3rd) Joseph Greek, 70

I’m a, Slave 4 U
Best in Race, Ratkin Slaves
1st) Mark Cunningham, 86
2nd) Mike Smith, 79
3rd) Richard Rodgers, 54

The New Hotness
Best in Race, Salamanders
1st) Dan Zarembski, 108
2nd) Ryan Munsell, 107
3rd) Jacob Datta, 102

Wiltfather SMASH!
Best in Race, Sylvan Kin
1st) Ed Herzig, 121
2nd) Visibly Riley, 23
3rd) Tim Lonas, 17

Letting Out Your Wild Side
Best in Race, The Herd
1st) Andreas Orlyng, 95
2nd) Manuel Roemisch, 89
3rd) Yan Lai, 69

Crab People, Crab People
Best in Race, Trident Realm
1st) Ray Shields, 113
2nd) Matt Gee, 103
3rd) Ben Johnson, 97

The Bad Boys of Pannithor
Best in Race, Twilight Kin
1st) Thomas B Aleksandersen, 116
2nd) Kyle Przelenski, 94
3rd) James Mitchell, 90

Playing on Easy Mode?
Best in Race, Undead
1st) Alex Kus, 130
2nd) Luis Serra, 113
3rd) Antonio Carrasco, 111

The Edgier Version of Northern Alliance
Best in Race, Varangur
1st) Daniel King, 103
2nd) Billy Henninger, 89
3rd) Brian Cessna, 78


Final Standings

NameCountryTotal points scored /150Average Percentage Killed
1stTom RobinsonUnited Kingdom14593.9%
2ndPaul BrownUnited Kingdom13274.7%
3rdAlex KusCanada13087.4%
4thStephen DevenishAustralia12881.9%
5thAndrew GoodmanAustralia12381.6%
6thSteven PearceUnited Kingdom12270.9%
7thEd HerzigUnited Kingdom12175.3%
8thBen JohnsonUnited Kingdom12156.9%
9thMark CampbellCanada11977.8%
10thPage NeoSingapore11774.7%
11thTas StaceyAustralia11769.7%
12thThomas B AleksandersenNorway11674.2%
13thJeffrey TraishAustralia11671.0%
14thKeith W. RandallUnited States11654.8%
15thKris DeGrowUnited States11568.7%
16thJesse BilbijaCanada11379.1%
17thLuis SerraSpain11373.2%
18thRyan MunsellUnited States11372.0%
19thRay ShieldsCanada11369.3%
20thAntonio CarrascoSpain11174.8%
21stExequiel FerreryaArgentina11171.9%
22ndMike AdkinsUnited States11074.8%
23rdCyle PoolUnited States11068.4%
24thJeremy DuvallUnited States11063.5%
25thTom AnnisUnited States10975.6%
26thDan ZarembskiUnited States10862.2%
27thShannon ShoemakerUnited States10860.9%
28thKeith ConroyUnited States10858.8%
29thSi BrandUnited Kingdom10857.8%
30thRashad NavidiUnited States10761.7%
31stYan LaiAustralia10760.0%
32ndChris FisherUnited States10666.8%
33rdNic MurrayUnited States10661.2%
34thbrindley smithCanada10572.1%
35thMathew VermeirenCanada10567.8%
36thBlake ShrodeUnited States10556.5%
37thMarc TaylorUnited States10471.1%
38thJoseph GreekUnited States10465.9%
39thAlan WignessUnited States10371.6%
40thMatt YoungUnited States10371.1%
41stDaniel KingUnited Kingdom10369.7%
42ndKyle PietschUnited States10362.3%
43rdJose VegaUnited States10358.2%
44thMatt GeeUnited Kingdom10357.5%
45thJay HopUnited Kingdom10353.5%
46thMike szedlmayerUnited States10273.9%
47thJacob DattaUnited States10266.4%
48thSteve HildrewUnited Kingdom10261.4%
49thDru MooreAustralia10062.6%
50thMichael PearcyUnited States10051.5%
51stAdam BallardUnited States9973.3%
52ndManuel RoemischGermany9969.4%
53rdTim LonasUnited States9960.0%
54thChris ChristophersonUnited Kingdom9866.1%
55thJosh RosadoUnited States9856.9%
56thGrant FetterUnited States9751.0%
57thJustin BergUnited States9744.1%
58thBilly HenningerUnited States9671.6%
59thRobert AlexanderIreland9667.3%
60thElliot MorrishUnited Kingdom9661.8%
61stAndreas OrlyngNorway9571.3%
62ndKyle PrzelenskiUnited States9466.4%
63rdRobert LeeUnited States9466.3%
64thKara BrownUnited States9463.8%
65thAndrew HeinrichUnited States9461.6%
66thClément QuinsonGermany9458.9%
67thShizunkCzech republic9458.3%
68thMatt CrogerAustralia9451.3%
69thRobert AllenUnited States9369.7%
70thAsier LopezSpain9368.7%
71stBen RantallAustralia9366.6%
72ndMatt GoodyUnited Kingdom9364.8%
73rdJohn DouglasUnited States9364.1%
74thPatrick Zoro AllenUnited States9363.9%
75thVisibly RileyUnited States9253.8%
76thGeorge KirkeUnited Kingdom9166.4%
77thHeikka ValjaFinland9158.8%
78thTodd SerpicoUnited States9158.6%
79thChris J. SmithUnited Kingdom9156.0%
80thJeff HortonUnited Kingdom9064.2%
81stZach ClarkUnited States9063.7%
82ndDevlin SmithUnited States9060.2%
83rdJames MitchellUnited Kingdom9059.7%
84thDrew RichardsonUnited States9058.1%
85thJohn GreenUnited States9053.5%
86thSam SowdenSpain8958.1%
87thCole FournierCanada8950.6%
88thEldon Krosch Jr.United States8742.8%
89thMark CunninghamUnited Kingdom8666.6%
90thJustin Gisby-ClarkUnited Kingdom8649.1%
91stBlake RobertsonUnited States8647.0%
92ndJames McLeanUnited States8562.9%
93rdBrian CessnaUnited States8546.7%
94thKevin DerringtonUnited Kingdom8360.5%
95thBrian LuttrellUnited States8356.8%
96thGarrett MercierUnited States8271.1%
97thErasmus BurgerCanada8251.4%
98thAndy MarshallUnited Kingdom8249.3%
99thChristopher DwaneUnited Kingdom8248.9%
100thMichael ClarkeAustralia8163.3%
101stNathan ClevengerUnited States8159.1%
102ndAdam PadleyUnited Kingdom8157.9%
103rdNickolas DuongUnited States8157.0%
104thJuancho BernabeuSpain8156.1%
105thSteve ForsterUnited States8138.3%
106thFabien HodotFrance8053.0%
107thMike SmithUnited Kingdom7955.5%
108thDan MinerCanada7955.5%
109thJay RosadoCanada7954.6%
110thNick LegrandAustralia7843.8%
111thJimmy StoutUnited States7843.3%
112thtony winmillAustralia7660.7%
113thPatrick JusticeUnited States7660.1%
114thDaniel PlackGermany7554.2%
115thGareth DaviesCanada7454.8%
116thZac ChapderlaneUnited States7451.9%
117thMax BennettUnited Kingdom7350.1%
118thMark NicholasUnited Kingdom7342.4%
119thChris ButterworthUnited Kingdom7245.0%
120thTrevor YounghusbandAustralia7159.8%
121stAnh Le/ Bob RodaUnited States7042.0%
122ndMatthew LaingAustralia6961.6%
123rdRyan Wuebbles (The Professor)United States6961.3%
124thNathan ArnoldUnited States6949.0%
125thTyler SchulzUnited States6857.5%
126thSaul SmithSouth Africa6857.0%
127thMarcus LeSilexUnited States6851.6%
128thHarry HopkinsUnited Kingdom6742.3%
129thJJ JonesUnited States6645.5%
130thFelix CastroUnited States6557.1%
131stSean BrennenUnited States6250.5%
132ndJose Maria MenendezSpain6172.9%
133rdRandy DavisUnited States6047.5%
134thBob AsplandUnited Kingdom5847.8%
135thRichard A RodgersUnited States5438.8%
136thRian jamesUnited Kingdom5144.5%
137thBryce ClarkUnited States4640.1%

Call to Arms – Round 6 stats

And that’s it after 12 weeks and over 400 games we’re done!

I’ve split the Round 6 stats and Final Results & Awards into two separate posts. Click on the link below to find the Results and final standings.


Tournament Stats

The scenario this round was Salt the Earth. We discussed a few different scenarios for the final round, but liked the concept of this scenario as players would have an idea of how big a win they would need to achieve the final position they were after.

Did any of you choose not to ‘burn’ an objective you otherwise would have done because you wanted the opportunity to score maximum bonus points?

Undead end the tournament as far and away the most popular army with 28 more games played than its nearest rivals. Other than that, there was a great spread of races played.

Third edition definitely seems to have seen a surge in the popularity of Salamanders and I think as the edition progresses, they’ll take their place as one of the most commonly seen armies.

The majority of players changed the race they used at least once during the tournament, but a significant chunk (45%) stuck with the same army all the way through.

Interestingly, the average number of bonus points scored for scenario was actually slightly higher this round than it was for Pillage. I wondered if two bonus points for the centre token was overly generous but looking at the table to the right it looks about perfect.

The Northern Kings are going to be doing a full review of the scoring system based on the feedback of this event and we’ll be tweaking the way bonus points are scored – my aim is to get the average amount of bonus points for a win as close to 4.0 as possible.


Army Stats

I was a little surprised to see that Northern Alliance have the lowest win:loss ratio of the tournament – I personally think Northern Alliance are a really strong list with lost of potential. But they’re also a brand new army with a new play style that players are still figuring out, so I think its far too early to make any conclusions about army balance.

I was far less surprised to see Abyssal Dwarfs and Undead out from with a +13 and +12 win:loss ratio respectively.

Overall I think the win:loss ratio show a very healthy game state. There a few outliers but the vast majority of armies are sat within an acceptable range. Don’t forget as well, that this only represents the result of one (all be it very large) tournament so take all of the results with a pinch of salt.

In Round 6 Undead pushed themselves back into the top spot for the highest average bonus points scored.

No change on the very top spot between round 5 and 6, but lots of change further down. Abyssal Dwarfs, Elves and Ogres making a last minute push getting themselves up into the top 5 for percentage killed.


As usual, I’ve pulled out the same stats as above showing only the Top 10 most played armies. These are the armies with enough results to prevent the averages being skewed too much by a single player.

Abyssal Dwarfs end the tournament as the army with the highest win percentage, narrowly beating out The Order of the Green Lady.


Country Stats

Congratulations to Canada! JUST holding on to their top spot by 0.7%!

It couldn’t really have been closer between Canada, Australia and Spain at the end with the difference between 2nd and 3rd place coming down to the number of Draws.

The UK vs US side event (that exists purely in my mind) came down to the wire as well with the US very nearly closing the 5 game gap that had opened up at the end of Round 5.

UK 43 – 41 USA