Kings of War battle report: Rats vs Undead

After a pretty hectic year I thought it would be nice to do one final battle report, and since its Christmas/New Year I thought I’d take a list that, for me, was pretty unusual. My Ratkin list was structured around the medium range shooting game where rats really excel. As this was quite an experimental list, I decided to give the newly enhanced Scurriers a run out and some new magic, in the for of the Alchemist’s Curse. I also wanted to try out Shock Troop regiments as I’ve seen them appearing in some well placed rat lists and am generally intrigued – maybe this alternative approach to shocks will stop a horde with sharpness appearing in every list I write?

Points: 2,300

Scenario: Dominate

Armies

Ratkin

1 – Warlock with Knowledgeable and Alchemist Curse

B – Broad Mother with Ranged Attack

Ta – Tangle

Sc – Scud

T – Weapons Teams (2)

TW – Tunnel Runners with Brew of Sharpness

Vt – Vermintide Regiments (2)

Nm – Nightmare Horde with Blessing of the Gods

Hp – Hackpaw Troop

Sc1 – Scurrier Regiment with Blade of Slashing

ST – Shock Troop Regiments (2) both with Plague Pots

Warrior – Warrior Horde with Plague Pots

Undead

1 – Necromancers with Bane Chant (2)

2 – Cursed Pharaoh

3 – Undead Army Standard Bearer

L – Lykanis

B – Balefire Catapults (2)

Wi – Wight Horde with Hanns Sanguinary Scripture

Ww – Werewolf Horde with Chant of Hate

SB – Skeleton Archer Regiment

Mu – Mummy Regiment

Wr – Wraith Regiment

Rev – Revenant Horde with Brew of Strength

Spears – Skeleton Spearmen Horde with Brew of Sharpness

SW – Skeleton Warrior Regiment

If you do the maths the Undead list is a few points short where I’ve left out some items, but the main troops involved are all included.

Terrain
Deployment

The golden sands stretched out as far as the eye could see, with only the occasional clump of palm trees to break up the otherwise featureless landscape. Warlock Trigzered of the Fyrefur Clan stood in silent contemplation, his eyes twitching nervously between a piece of parchment and a non-descript area of sand.

“You’re lost.” Broodmother Chalax scolded.

“Am not.” the warlock replied, although he was pretty sure he was, and if he wasn’t he had no idea where he was meant to be.

“So where is it then?” Chalax asked.

“Well…” Trigzered replied.

“Well?” Chalax pressed.

“Well… we dig.” Trigzered said confidently, knowing that this would buy him some time to work out where they were and which way they should actually be going.

“This better not be another one of your wide rat chases.” Chalanx replied looking suspiciously at the warlock, whilst trying to catch a glimpse of the parchment which she could have sworn was blank.

Before she could issue orders to the ratkin host to begin digging three figures appeared in the distance. They walked slowly towards the rat lines, sand starting to whip up around them. A ragged creature, swathed in soiled bandages, taller than the emaciated men that walked on either side of it wore a tall crown of golden serpents that writhed and hissed. The creature raised its arms and a sandstorm exploded up and out throwing tiny, sharp pieces of grit and sand, cut with a piercing blue light over the entire area forcing the rat warriors to raise their shields in a vain attempt to prevent the sand getting into their eyes and nostrils.

Trigzered and Chalax watched in silence as bleach boned skeletons, and a host of other warriors, a long time lost to the world, rose from the desert and started to shamble towards the ratkin. A catapult in the centre of the undead lines launched a pot of flaming oil that crashed into a regiment of shock troops nearby to Chalax as werewolves ran from a distant hill howling and hungry.

Turn 1

The undead took the first turn and started to shamble forward. The catapult in the centre scored a hit on the Shock Troop regiment at the end of the ratkin line, wavering them. Fortunately, the regiment was out of sight of the second catapult on the hill which had turned in an attempt find something to shoot at.

The rats crept forward whilst the wavered Shock Troop regiment turned to face the werewolves lopping towards the crop of palm trees to their right and a Vermintide regiment moved in front of them. The Broodmother then cast Drain Life, using Eat the Weak, on the Vermintide to restore some of the Shock Troop’s damage.

On the ratkin’s left flank Scud flew forward and, in unison with the warlock, released lightening bolts at the Wights on the end of the undead line.

End of turn 1

Turn 2

The undead continued their slow advance, the catapults once again firing, but this time failing to hit anything.

The rat’s left flank started to push forward with the Hackpaws and Vermintide ranging forward to provoke a response from the silent warriors in front of them, whilst the rat lines opened to allow the Scurriers forward to shoot at the skeleton spears. Finally Scud and the Warlock again launched lightening at the Wights, continuing to chip away at them.

End of turn 2

Turn 3

The undead finally broke ranks in an attempt to close with the rats. The Wights charged forward into the Hackpaws sending them scattering and the Wraiths charged the Shock Troop regiment in the woods wavering them. The Pharaoh also charged into some Vermintide, but failed to remove them this turn.

In response to the removal of the Hackpaws the Nightmares, Weapons Team and Warlock opened fire on the Wights killing them. The undead had exposed two flanks that the rats could not resist. The Tunnel Runners swept down the hill and wiped out the Wraiths whilst Scud ploughed into the side of the Mummies returning them to the sand. Finally, with the Werewolves disappearing around the back of the woods the Vermintide on the right flank charged into the Revenant horde, but failed to do any damage.

End of turn 3

Turn 4

The Skeleton Spears turned to face Scud and the Werewolves emerged from behind the woods to threaten the rat’s right flank. The Revenants destroyed the Vermintide and the Skeleton regiments continued to move up. In an act of defiance the Pharaoh turned and charged Scud in the flank, hurting him and stopping him from flying, but not doing sufficient damage to stop his rampage.

There was a kerfuffle in the rat ranks as the Scurriers moved forward to allow the Shock Troops to turn to get out of the way of the Tunnel Runners, allowing them to charge the Skeleton Spears with Scud. Despite the Tunnel Runners being hindered and Scud being impacted by Phalanx, damage already done by the Scurrier’s shooting meant the skeletons quickly collapsed.

End of turn 4

Turn 5

The Revenants turned before being surged into the Tunnel Runners. Despite their best attempt Scud’s presence stopped the rat chariots from fleeing. The Werewolves charged the Shock Troops on the left flank easily wiping them out, despite the original damage from the catapult all being healed by the Brood Mother. The Pharaoh switched its attention to the Warlock, unexcited about being a potential target for the Alchemist’s Curse.

Scud and the Scurriers joined the Tunnel Runners in their fight against the Revenants driving the unit from the field. The Warrior horde charged into the Skeleton Warriors whilst the units at the back of the field ordered themselves to prevent the Werewolves from running riot in the final turn. The Tangle charged the horde, but failed to do any damage whilst the remaining Shock Troops dropped their plague pots to reduce their appeal as a potential target to the Lycan.

End of turn 5

At this point we decided to call the game as the Undead had lost their main scoring units and would have been unlikely to pull the game back even with a seventh turn.

Final Thoughts

This was a really relaxed game which was exactly what I was looking for to try out new units. With the benefits of hindsight both the undead player and I would have done things differently, that being said I would definitely take this army list again.

One of the things I was really glad about was the werewolves deciding to hang back behind the woods until turn 5. This was a pretty big deal because had they pressed their attack sooner  they would have easily overwhelmed the Shock Troop Regiment on the right flank and quickly got into the warriors, which would have put one of my big scoring units in danger.

That’s not to say I didn’t think very much of the Shock Troop regiments. Quite the opposite. With the Tangle and Brood Mother they were incredibly resilient, but by splitting the two regiments it meant the Tangle had to chase between them rather than supporting them both at the same time. If I had placed these units in the middle of the line with the Warriors and Vermintide as flank buffers they would have been far better placed to respond to the Werewolves even if the wolves had started to attack in turn 2 or 3.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Scurriers. They happily plinked away at anything that was in range, and although their only charge was hindered the melee 3 meant they still hit on 4s when they got into the Revenants. I certainly didn’t help them by hiding them behind the lines for the first turn. Whilst they are expensive I can’t help but thinking that Fire Oil would be great little extra for these guys. Yes, its situational, but it would certainly have created an interesting option for dealing with mummies, let alone Pharaohs. I really didn’t use these guys as well as I could have, and some helpful feedback from the rat FB group has given me some useful titbits on how to get a bit more out of them.

So I guess all that’s left to say is that I hope you had a fab Christmas and best wishes for the new year.

Published by Eddie B

A blog about fantasy wargaming and literature.

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