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Thor's Day For My First Kow Game

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#1 Prince Ulfar

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:57 PM

Okay finally this Thursday I'll get to play my first 1K game of KoW against Elves.


My list:


1 Berserker Lord on a Broc, with Mace of Crushing (the mace maybe pointless with vicious, but I had 5 points to use, and the more hits the merrier).


1 Battle Standard Bearer, with Kevinar's flying hammer (Thor's Hammer, for Thor's Day! The gods will be with me for this use of 5 points alone!)


1 Horde of Ironclads

1 Regiment of Shieldbreakers

1 Troop of Ironwatch

1 Troop of Rangers (with the Piercing Arrow)

1 Troop of Brock Riders (I got some mounted Dwarf Knights on E-bay for this, which I hope to have built and painted in time)

1 Organ Gun


I have no idea if this a good or bad list, but it gives me a chance to use a number of different units, and sizes to see what works, and what doesn't. I'd like to have got some Ironguard in and a King, but there wasn't the points.


Still wish me luck!



#2 jtrowell


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Posted 01 March 2017 - 09:27 AM

It looks like a decent list for 1k, you have two inspiring source (but the berserker lord will of course only inspire the brock riders and himself), some decent mobility with the lord and brock riders, and some decent medium range shooting with the organ gun and the rangers (the rangers can also complement your mobility with the vanguard move).


For the Lord, you should probably replace the mace with the blade of slashing to reroll on to hit, as you already wrote you have vicious with the brock mount.


You lack trully long range shooting, so something like an elven bolt thrower might be used against you especially to try an early kill of the organ gun, and elves might bring faster units that you, but you have good defenses and nerve so at worst soak it and counter attack. ^_^


#3 Prince Ulfar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for the review. Yes trying to keep the BSB with the main battle line and use the Brocs and Lord to break a flank and sweep inwards to role up their line. The problem is Elves are very much faster than me!

#4 jtrowell


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Posted 02 March 2017 - 08:41 AM

Against faster ennemies, it's usually good to have some chaff to sacrifice to their initial charge (something cheap like an ironclad troop), or to be tough enough to survive it and give the time for the rest of the army to come help you during the counter attack.


If it is a friendly game, I would advice the elf player to not bring things like a dragon lord or a horde of drakon, as they would make the game revolve around them at only 1000 points (a dragon lord is 300+ points by itself) and would make the game less fun for both of you.


At this point level you usually get a better game if nobody bring anything worth much more than 200 point (well, maybe one ~250 unit as a centerpiece can be ok depending on the army), especially if you are still both learning the game.




#5 Prince Ulfar

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:59 PM

Finally played my first game of Kings of War, against my long time gaming buddy, who uses High Elves in WFB. It was a 1,000 game.


My list basically the same as the one I posted, with some minor fiddling with magic items.


His list was 2 Regiments of Kings Guard (?) I’m new to the names of stuff, they were sword masters effectively, and 1 Troop of them. 1 Regiment of amazingly good Knights/Dragon princes and 1 troop of light cavalry with bows. He had a wizard, a prince on a horse and army standard bearer. The prince had a cat he could throw. (I will get his list off him and post it at some point).


The scenario was Invasion, and so ONLY units that get into the oppositions half counted towards victory. (Not a great scenario for me, but you have to learn to fight all kinds of battles).


I deployed, from Left to Right: My troop of Rangers, my Troop of Brock Riders (Or Dwarf Knights, as they shall be know from here on in!), my Berserker Lord on a Brock (Or Lord on a Bear), My Iron Watch Rifles, my Horde of Dwarf Warriors (Ironclads), regiment of shield breakers, and an organ gun. A ruin protected my right flank, and was impassable.


 He deployed from my Left to Right, a Troop of Sword Masters, a gap, 2 regiments of Sword masters, with the wizard and BSB behind them, a gap, the Knights and then the Light cavalry.


I advanced my Rangers with the Vanguard rule into the wood in front of them.


He won first turn.


First Turn:

He advanced the Troop of sword masters; at the double-ed his regiments of Sword masters; advanced his Knights to take some cover from some trees and put his light cavalry in the wood. The light cavalry sniped a shield breaker.


** Note of Difference** GOD DAMN things move fast! Way faster than WFB.



I stayed still with everything except my Dwarf Knights, who advanced, and angled themselves to hit the Sword master Troop in the flank if they charged my Rangers, and the Bear Lord advance too.


Shooting: My Rangers put some hurt on the Sword Masters killing 3 of them in the Troop in front of them. My Iron watch were even better, killing 4 in the regiment to their front. Organ Gun was a bit of a failure, and only kill 1 of the Elf Knights. Nerve checks all passed.


** Note of Difference** Shooting seems good, but with the speed of the game, it will not last long! Also I forgot about measuring. I have left my Dwarf Knights in charge range. Bugger.


Turn 2

He charges my Knights with his Troop of Sword Masters. He advanced everything else. Magically he removed 2 wounds from the Sword Masters regiment. His throwing sabre cat thing, on the Prince, kills another shield breaker, his light cav put a wound on the organ gun.


In combat he does 4 wounds to my Dwarf knights. Ouch. But they lived!!!


I’m out of most charge ranges, and even moving back leaves me in charge range of his whole army. His next turn will hurt…


I do charge my Knights at his Sword Masters Troop. I also flank charge them with my rangers.


My Ironwatch rifles perform heroically, and kill 4 more of the Regiment of Sword Masters. My Flying hammer, held by my BSB missed. I now have tough decision to make on the organ gun. Hit is knights or Light cavalry or even his Prince, or even soften up a Sword Master regiment. It’s a big decision, as the gun will be dead next turn. I decide on killing the light cavalry, as them, behind my line, with rear charges, will kill me. Organ gun is awesome, and shreds the unit. He passed leadership on his Sword Masters regiment, but the light cavalry are gone! First blood!!!


Combat sees the Sword Masters troop take a hell of a beating (even though I forgot my Rangers double their attacks with a flank charge). They too fail their nerve test. I move the rangers D6 forwards into the Elf half of the table, Dwarf Knights reform, hoping my line will hold and they can flank charge something!


Turn 3

He charges. His knights charge my Shield Breakers, his 2 regiments of Sword Masters both go for the Warrior horde, and his Prince attacks the Organ gun. He bane chants the left hand unit of Sword Masters.


Combat. The Prince isn’t amazing, but it’s enough to break the nerve of the organ gun and crew. There is a gaping hole in my line. It now gets worst. The Elf Knights slaughter the shield breakers, totally, brutally, and they break.


Elf Knights reform to sit facing the flank of my Horde Ironclads. Both his regiments meat out allot of punishment on the Ironclads (10 in total), but they hold! Iron and Stone!


** Note of Difference** Things DIE fast!!! I miss not roling dice, and have a sense of helplessness as units evaporate before my eyes!


My Kinghts now flank charge his nearest Sword Masters, and my Dwarf Lord on a Bear charges his BSB. My Warriors charge his other Sword Masters regiment, and my Rifles reform to face into the Elven flank. I’m hoping for some luck here. If this all plays out as it is going, he should win this. I need fortune. Which means my Ironclad need to put allot hurt on the regiment they are facing…


My only shoot is my BSB with his hammer, which misses. I’m going to say now, he throws the hammer ALL game, it either misses of fails to wound. I blame the trailer for Thor Ragnrok, and the hammer breaking in it, it’s clearly cursed my hammer!


My bear lord has poor dice, but still manages to panic (not sure of the KoW term) the Elf BSB, meaning he can’t do anything, apart from retreat or hold. My Dwarf knights are awesome, and deal out allot of damage, the pointy ears nerve fails and they too are gone. The warriors are a different story. They have poor dice, and cause only 4 wounds. The Warriors are doomed, and I fear so maybe the game…


Turn 4

He charges the Ironclad with the Sword master regiment and the Knights. His Prince attacks my BSB. His pointy eared witch fails a bane chant.


His knights and sword masters cut the warriors to bits, they break. His regiment of sword masters reforms to face my knights.


This is looking bad…


My Bear Lord changes his BSB again, my knights charge his sword masters. My rifles kill a couple of knights.


On the positive, the Bear lord rips the BSB to bits, so NO more Nerve re-roles (which have been highly effective all game). My Knights are less good. They do some wounds, but the Sword Masters stay put.


I have 2 troops, against 2 regiments and he has more heroes… This is looking bad for the Dwarfs.


Turn 5

He charges the Dwarf Knights with his regiment, but his Knights are stuck behind his sword masters, so can’t charge. So the Elf Knights move ready to run down the rifles next turn. His prince attacks my BSB again. His wizard fire balls my Bear Lord, doing a wound.


His prince does nothing of note. But his sword masters do 6 wounds, and he only needs six on 2 D6 to make them break. He roles 10, but my Bear lord gives them a re-role, and the re-role is a double one!!! Game it NOT over!


My turn

It’s not looking great, but I’m still in the game. I charge the Sword Masters head on with the Dwarf Knights (but no crushing strength this time), and flank charge with my Bear Lord (but he doesn’t double his attacks).


BSB pointlessly throws a hammer again. My rifles open fire on the knights, they do very well, killing 4. The Knights then role a double 6 and run!!!! No BSB for the re-role and they were gone, and so the game swung my way, big time.


Combat: my Knights and Lord put another 7 wounds on the Sword Masters, and with a role of 9, they too broke and ran.


My head is spinning from looking down the barrel of defeat at the end of turn 4, to snatching victory by the end of

turn 5.


** Note of Difference** I am not sure about this roller coaster side of the game. Okay I get good dice make or break WFB too, but I don’t remember a WFB game that went from victory to defeat in such a short space of time. Still it was kinda cool at the time though.


Turn 6

Little happened. No one died or broke, and it was about getting units into each other’s half.


As it turned out, killing meant nothing and only the units in the oppositions table section counted. So I had 240 odd points (bear lord and Rangers), he had 185 (wizard and Prince, which was all he had left in his army). So eventually a draw, in my favour. I think a Draw was a fair result.


WOW, hell of a game. Not sure if him or me could have done anything much which was different, and really 2 dice roles changed the game. A double 1 to save my Brock riders/Dwarf Knights and the double 6 that saw off 240 points from the table in a heartbeat.


I will play KoW again. Its fast and fun. I think I still like WFB more, but certainly is much faster to play than the last ed of WFB, and I can get an evening game in.

#6 jtrowell


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Posted 09 May 2017 - 01:04 PM

Nice battle report.
One remark : don't think of wounds as "models killed", they represent the global damage/fatigue/loss of moral of the unit and not only pure damage, and in fact you can sometimes have an unit with more damage than it has nerve.
outside of that, the number of flank attacks that you mention rearly in the game let me think that both you and your opponent failed to really plan for the after effect of your charges, leaving your chargers exposed to other units, and making the game more lethal than average at this point.
This is even more important for dwarves, as they are usually slower than their opponents so accepting the charge but in a way that make your opponent regret doing it is a very important part of the army.
I recommand for both you and your opponent to read this article about charging on the mantic blog, this should give you a few examples of the general tactics : https://manticblog.c...ctics-charging/
Also about the game winner seeming to switch easily, it is slightly misleading, because as you don't do anything during the turn of your opponent, you can get easily the impression of him getting a huge lead, where in fact your own turn will bring your counter attack and can very well switch the situation again.
Imagine a Warhammer game where you only resolved all the attacks of the same player for all his combats before looking at the counter attacks of his opponent.
In KoW the counter attacks are simply handled by your own turn.
In one of my first games where I played with Twilight Kin (Dark Elves) against ratkin (Skavens), I happened to have faster units and/or a better deployment that allowed me to get the initial  charge in 4 different fights and inflict some decent damage (I routed one unit, and heavily damaged several others, but none of them where wavered)
My opponent almost dropped the game, seeming my whole battle line almost intact while his own was heavily damaged, but as all his own units where still in fighting shape, I encouraged him to at least resolve his turn so that he could see the effect of his counter attack.
the think is that in my own charge I had hoped to waver at least some of my targets but failed it, so all of them (outside the one unit that I killed) where able to counter charge, plus they had some reserve unit now in range too.
The result is that he also killed one of my units, and he got more lucky than me and wavered 3 of mine ! (waver is the effect where your unit cannot do anything except some movement, thinkg of it as an unit fleeing and rallying)
Suddently it was clear that he was in fact in a better situation than mine, and the game continued. The rest of the game was then closely disputed until the end, and I lost it by controlling 1 objective marker to his 2, but it was a very close call, if the game had lasted one more turn I would probably had taken the central objective but he delayed my dark knights with the sacrifice of his army standard (preventing me from charging the unit holding the central objective, even with the overrun)
But in most games it's usually less extreme, you often see this kind of swtich in lcoal fights, rarerly on the whole army, you might be winning somewhere and losing on the other flank, that's part of the fun and it's rare outside of extreme armies that the real winner is known unil the very end, making for very fun games.

#7 Prince Ulfar

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:41 AM

Thanks for this response. I am sure we will play it again, and I think having depth to a line is great for counter charging. My concern with dwarfs is they seem costly and have no cheap sacrificial units. Also their movement is a problem. But like any army, you need to learn to focus on its strengths and hide its weaknesses in a game.


Still it was good game, and I picked it up much faster than my first ever games of WFB, and I played that for a VERY long time!


Thanks for article link, will read and plan my future destruction of the Elves in KoW!

#8 jtrowell


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Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:05 AM

Anythin worth less than 100 points can serve as chaff (cheap sacrifiable unit). An ironclad troop is only 75 points and an acceptable sacrifice if you have no other option.


A cheap hero can also serve if nothing better is available (see my exemple above with an army standard putting itself just in front of my dark knights), but remember that units with individual ggive an ovverrun of 1d6" that can result in a second charge.


People usually prefer fast and nimble chaff (things like gargoyles or beast packs), so that they can use their speed to put them exactly where they are needed, but a good general can also simply plan a formation that will put a slower chaff in the place where you need it to be,because you identified it from the start. It's harder to do, and sometimes you will wish you had more movement, but note that you can also simply take several cheap units so that you have one everywhere where you might need them.


Of course don't forget to take hammers too (offensive units that will do the bulk of your damage)


In case you are not already familiar with those terms here's a summary : 


- anvil : defensive unit whose main role is to hold and survive a charge so that they are ready to coutner charge, and hopefully hold the charger in place for other units of yours to charge it too (in a flank or rear if possible).


Exemple unit : ironclad horde (lots of nerve, high defense, decent but only average offensive power)


- tarpit : similar to the anvil, but here the role is more to delay the opponent for a while with a cheap but tough unit.

Compared to the anvil, the tarpit is not expected to really do damage in return, nor to hold the opponent for a combo charge, just to hold it for as long as possible.


Where the role of the anvil is mainly to hold an opponent while the hammer strike, the tarpit is a role where the unit is usually used alone to give you time.


Exemple unit : zombie legion (low defense, but massive nerve, optimal against a hero or monster who will have powerful attacks wasted against the already low defense, but few of them so it will  need a lot of turns to kill the unit if not supported)


Of course, depending on the situation the same unit can be used as an anvil or as a tarpit


- hammer : offensive unit, often combined with an anvil or a screen to get an optimal charge


exemple : knights and other heavy cavalry


- glass hammer : hammer with low defensive power (low nerve and/or low def), most berserker units fall in this category (but  dwarf bersrekers have a high nerve for their type, so they are closer to normal hammers)


- chaff : cheap unit whose main roles are usually holding objective or dying so that more expensives unit don't.


Exemple : gargoyles


- screen : an unit put in front of other units to provide cover against ranged attacks and/or receive the initial charge.


Most screens are technically chaff, and there to die to the initial charge so that the more expensive unit being can then charge their killer, this provide an alternative way to use a hammer (the screen replacing the anvil)


Sometimes however you might use a bigger unit, for exemple against heavy shooting where you don't want them to kill your hammer first, yo might use the unit that you planned to use an an avil in a screen role. In a dwarf army, this might mean using an ironcald horde to hide behing it some offensive infantry (shieldbreaker horde for exemple), so that the shooting must target first the tougher and cheaper ironclad, and the shieldbreakers can eitheir wait for the ironclad to die to clear their charge arc, or separate from them later to prepare to charge something else while the ironclad hold what was in front of them





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