Kings of War Battle Report: Basileans vs Twilight Kin

Following Clash of Kings (the event and supplement) I’ve decided to spend a bit of time with my Basileans, if only because I can’t face painting more rat infantry at the moment. I have a couple of tournaments coming up where I’m planning on using them, so this is a great chance to dust them off and give them a bit of a whirl.

Points: 2,300

Scenario: Raze

Clash of Kings changes

Going into this game I was generally happy with what I had seen in the new supplement. In terms of the Basilean changes a lot impact the Sisterhood which doesn’t really affect my army. I might one day add some of these troops but being brutally honest the current Mantic miniatures don’t get me excited. Sisterhood lancers were one of the first units I painted for the army and all that remains of them are their panthers.

In terms of the newness I’m bringing along, it’s not much. The Scythe of the Harvester is going on my mounted High Paladin and my Elohi Horde will take the Celestial Fury change. I’ll also be taking the Shroud of the Saint which received a bit of a rebalancing.

As you’ll see my opponent really embraced the changes to the Twilight Kin and has given quite a few new things a try. This was a really interesting game as he usually brings loads of fliers and cavalry to the table and I’m the one pushing the infantry around in circles. Not so this time, the boot was firmly on the other foot – but did it fit me as well?

Army Lists

Basilea

1 – Priest with Shroud of the Saint

2 – High Paladin mounted on a horse with Scythe of the Harvester

3 – Ur Elohi

4 – High Paladin on Dragon

5 – Regiment of Elohi

6 – Horde of Elohi with Celestial Fury and Brew of Sharpness

7 – Troop of Gur Panthers (2)

8 – Regiment of mounted Paladins with Potion of the Caterpillar

9 – Phoenix

10 – Horde of Ogre Palace Guard with Blessing of the Gods

11 – Horde of Spearmen

Twilight Kin

4 – Mikayel

5 – Summoner Crone with Sceptre of Shadows and Host Shadowbeast (10)

6 – Soulbane on Dread-fiend with Trickster’s Wand

7 – Horde of Blade Dancer Neophytes with Crystal Pendent of Retribution

8 – Regiment of Twilight Gladestalkers

9 – Troops of Cronebound Gargoyles (2)

10 – Regiment of Cronebound Abyssal Horsemen with Brew of Sharpness

11 – Regiment of Cronebound Abyssal Horsemen with Boots of Striding

Formation: The Crew of the Black Hydra

1 – Leiz the Soulless

2 – Regiment of Blade Dancers

3 – Troops of Blade Dancers (2)

The plan

My plan was simple enough. With two of the Kin’s objectives in front of my left flank I was expecting my opponent to put the bulk of his forces opposite them so they could force their way to their markers before turning towards the centre. On that basis I deployed my faster units to my right flank in the hope they could overwhelm whatever was left to claim their token, claim my tokens and then head to the centre for the final showdown.

Terrain, objectives and army deployment.

Scouting phase

The only scouts were the Twilight Gladestalkers who rushed forward towards their objective by the impassable terrain.

Turn 1

I won the roll off and the shuffling forward commenced. On the left flank there was the traditional cavalry stand off as both sides sought to find the best possible position to start the inevitable I take one of your units, you take one of mine. In the centre the panthers suddenly found themselves with a charge opportunity and went in against the Gladestalkers knocking off a couple of wounds. The mounted High Paladin headed over to support them in case they were still there the next turn.

I was quite surprised by the sheer volume of troops my opponent had dropped on my right flank. The high number of attacks combined with some very long charge ranges gave me serious food for thought. I was not going to have it all my own way just because I’d bought a load of things with wings. In the end I decided to put my Elohi regiment in a position to allow Mikayel to charge them and the Gargoyles were offered a choice of angel or dragon for supper.

The Twilight Kin’s response on the left flank was a bit more shuffling, whilst on the right things were about to get a little more exciting. The Kin moved up as one and the Summoner cast Host Shadowbeast on Leiz who gained all 10 attacks from the spell. It was at that point I found I hadn’t done my measuring thoroughly enough and Leiz was within charge range of the Elohi regiment. Unsurprisingly the regiment dissolved. Finally, the Gladestalkers hit back against the panthers who benefited from their Dreamslayers Venom rule, effectively getting a defence buff, which kept them on the table and unwavered. The gargoyles went into the dragon and in an attack round that surprised no one did about one wound.

End of turn 1

Turn 2

With my Spearmen and Ogres starting to get close enough to the enemy to start threatening things in the next turn I decided it was time to push my opponent a bit on the left. Keeping the panthers and paladins out of harm’s way I pushed the Ur Elohi as far as I could towards the gargoyles and horsemen (keeping out of charge range of the horsemen). In the centre the High Paladin and the panthers finished off the Gladestalkers and turned to provide some much needed support to my right flank.

Leiz provided me with a bit of a conundrum. If I charged him with my Elohi horde I would end up within charge range of pretty much everything else, really not good. If I tried to shoot him with the Phoenix’s fireball I was unlikely to kill him and any wounds would be added to his attack number. Combine this with Host Shadow Beast and the remaining Elohi could be taking an early shower. With the horde only having defence 4 I didn’t like the idea of an injured Leiz charging them (but only marginally less than an uninjured Leiz charging them)  so I backed off and left the Soulbane to its own devices.

The dragon killed off the gargoyles and then moved sideways to prevent Leiz from nimble charging my Pheonix (although we later worked out it would still have been possible for Leiz to run around the impassable terrain and get in if he had wanted).

Powered up with dark magic Leiz ran into my Elohi, a mere 13 attacks this time, and fortunately failed to kill them. A troop of Blade Dancers ran into the dragon and started to knock some wounds off and finally in an act of wanton destruction Mikayel trashed the panthers.

On my left flank the gargoyles swooped up in front of my knights to prevent them from charging either the horsemen or fiend mounted Soulbane as they advanced. Things were starting to move.

End of turn 2

Turn 3

Angered by the loss of his panthers the High Paladin avoided Mikayel and charged into the flank of the unengaged Blade Dancer troop as the dragon fought back resulting in both troops being removed. The Elohi charged forward and killed Leiz. There was a brief moment of celebrations.

On the right combat was finally joined. The panthers charged the horsemen, as did the Ur Elohi and the knights charged the gargoyles, routing them. All in all, a straightforward turn for me.

 The Kin, on the other hand had some decisions to make. The first was pretty simple. Host Shadowbeast was cast on Mikayel and off he went attacking my dragon with 22 attacks, in total, spreading little pieces of big beastie all over the battlefield. The Blade Dancer regiment now moved up and attacked my High Paladin leaving him wavered. Meanwhile the neophytes turned around in the hope that someone would want to play with them, or they might have a charge at some point in the near future.

On the left both regiments of horsemen backed away from their attackers to avoid double charges in the next turn that were highly likely to result in their demise. Finally, the Soulbane on Dread-fiend hurried off to support the horsemen under attack from the Ur Elohi.

End of turn 3

Turn 4

I was fortunate that following his decimation of my dragon Mikayel had not been able to flee outside of the Elohi’s charge arch, meaning the little menace could be given a taste of his own medicine. Whilst it wasn’t inevitable it did happen and Mikayel joined the dragon in the dead pile. The wavered High Paladin passed his headstrong roll and fought back against the Blade Dancers with the Phoenix joining him. Whilst they managed to do 8 wounds to the regiment it was not enough to break them and that would come back to haunt them very quickly.

In the centre the ogres pressed forward to put pressure on the horsemen and the Ur Elohi charged back into them piling on a few more wounds. The panthers on the left charged back in against their horsemen, clawing at them viciously and sending them fleeing allowing the knights to claim the first Basilean token.

The Kin tried to fight back but options were few and far between. The Blade Dancers, now with 28 attacks, killed the High Paladin, over ran and wiped out the Phoenix. The neophyte horde held its ground to ensure its unit strength would prevent the Elohi from claiming the token in the woods.

In the centre the Soulbane charged into the ogres and a solid flurry of hits managed to waver them. The horsemen were not so successful.

End of turn 4

Turn 5

The Elohi flew to claim the token by the Blade Dancers, staying out of everyone’s charge ranges and arcs to keep them safe for another turn. In an attempt to take the pressure off the ogres the spears charged the Soulbane managing a mighty 2 wounds and not really achieving anything. The priest healed the Ur Elohi as he continued his fight with the horsemen, as the panthers sauntered over-looking for some more horses to get their claws into.

The units of the Kin that were in combat fought back and achieved nothing of note, even the ogres went from wavered to unwavered. On the other flank the Blade Dancers prepared for turn 6 by moving as close to the centre as possible which, if the neophyte horde moved, would set them up for a charge into the flank of the ogres.

End of turn 5

Turn 6

The turn unfolded reasonably predicatbly. The panthers charged into the flank of the horsemen and with the Ur Elohi took them off. The ogres, maybe a little embarrassed by getting wavered so easily the turn before, battered the Soulbane into submission. Finally, the Elohi turned to face the neophytes.

At this point we called the game because the ogres removing the Soulbane meant they were able to turn out of the Blade Dancer’s charge range. This meant there was nothing the Kin could do, even if there was a turn 7, to escape a Basilean win. Although the map doesn’t show it the Blade Dancers were able to move to contest the centre meaning the result came down to collected objectives of which Basilea had managed 2 and the Kin had managed just one.

End of turn 6

Cat of the game

Undoubtedly this goes to the panthers for their part in bringing down the two Abyssal horsemen regiments and the Gladestalkers. It is easy to underestimate just how flexible these units are and I certainly didn’t expect them to pull out such a stellar performance. It’s the first time I’ve ever fielded them as troop options and it certainly won’t be the last.

Rating Cok

Awkward pun time! Its not escaped anyone’s noticed this year’s CoK is sizeable, and there’s certainly a lot to get to grips with that should keep us satisfied for some time. In terms of what I’ve experimented with I think the Scythe of the Harvester is definitely a keeper. It’s the second time I’ve taken it and it makes the paladin into a much more reliable tool for dealing with troops and supporting other infantry and cavalry combats. Celestial Fury undoubtedly has its ups and downs. Yes it can make your angels super killy, but being a Ratkin player I know just how easily defence 4 units can get rolled up, especially if they are priority targets, and I would say the change makes them exactly that. That’s why I kept the Phoenix looming over them.

Based on the game last night it looks as though magic has the potential to really shape game play in 2022. I won’t lie, the number of dice being rolled for individual attacks last night were high, and the odd naughty word might have been uttered (in passing and under my breath). There are of course upsides and downsides to everything. For example, the package of individuals and spells required to make those dice numbers so high meant points weren’t being spent on scoring units. It’s also worth remembering that, wizards generally aren’t that tough and when it comes to magic it is the wizard that is the actual threat. So, if magic does start to play more of a part in games not only are there a number of new items that can help with that, but most armies include duellist characters, and occasionally units, that may find themselves with more valued roles.

All this leaves me quite excited about 2022, and really impressed with what everyone working on the supplement has achieved. A big thank you to all. The one thing that’s really occupying my mind right now though is what on earth we’ll see coming out in 2023. Is that so wrong?

Published by Eddie B

A blog about fantasy wargaming and literature.

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