Beers of War (Kings of War Tourney)

Off to chilly Wakefield on the last Saturday in April for the Beers of War (5) doubles Kings of War tournament.  I had signed up for the Bolt Action event but that and the 40K games had been dropped due to a lack of players.  I do have Kings of War Orc, Human and Lizardmen forces but these are all loosely magnetised to movement trays.  They would not have done well on the 5km walk to the railway station.   Instead I was generously offered the loan of a 1000 point Undead list, local sources informed me this was a pretty good line up but I would not have known.  Chris Christopherson was lined up as my partner with a 1,000 point Forces of Nature list.  There were some nicely painted models in that list although a Forces of Nature army could possibly be made up from bits of twig, moss and stones from the garden.  We played 3 games each taking about 2 hours with an hour’s break mid-afternoon.


Starting positions for game 1, my lads are in grey with most of the tree huggers hiding in the woods.  We are playing against Ogres and Basileans (or possibly goblins).  Victory was judged on destroying the 3 most valuable units (not individuals) on each side.  For us that was the big skeleton horde and 2 nature units.  I took the task of going for the 2 regiments of green things at right below.  The opposition had unsportingly lined up these key victory units behind 2 hordes of rubbish Goblins.


Our lads managed to hack through the goblins but took some damage in the process and went down to the Ogres behind.  An eventual loss for our team but the final ‘death count’ was very similar on both sides.


Game 2 against Brotherhood and (another) Forces of Nature.  The aim is to control the 2 hills through having more and bigger units close to each than the opposition.


Our boys surge over the victory hill and push the unpainted humans out of the way.  The red flame thing caused our undead a lot of pain but we eventually saw him off.


Things went pretty well on my partner’s side of the table although that horde in the centre below could regenerate losses and caused considerable trouble.


End game sees a clearly held hill.


And the same story on the other flank for a win.


The last game depends on controlling 5 loot tokens (that cannot be moved).  These are the brown cicular markers on the table.


We are fighting Dwarfs and Brotherhood and learn that Dwarfs are tough.  My horde made little impact against the dwarf horde it was facing.  We caught the green rocky things in the front of the image below in front and flank and still failed to drive them off.


End game shows the sole surviving undead unit, its commander.  My partner also took a drubbing for a clear loss overall.


The Beers of War name does give some clue to the event and may have driven off some prospective players.  Although some teams were clearly gunning for the most alcohol drunk award other players were sticking to coffee and soft drinks.  Winning a game gave each team member a drinks token.  Our game 3 opponents were really putting it away and I was hoping for a default win when they both passed out but they clearly knew how to play and gave us a good game.  Only 1 player in the tournament seemed slightly worse for wear and the day passed in a quiet and civilised manner not requiring either police or medical intervention.

The Kings of War rules proved robust.  Some of the scenarios and minor rules came from supplements that I had not seen but these were small changes and easily picked up.  There are some key points to note that are not immediately obvious in the Kings of War rules.  These are mainly concerned with who can see what.  Everything has a height, models and terrain.  You can’t see over an equal height obstacle or unit.  To charge you need line of sight and a unit to your front.  Careful rotating can decide if a unit can be in the 45 degree charge arc and that the target is close enough of the charger’s centre point to be contacted.  No examples cropped up of obscure rules or strict grammatical rules interpretations that allowed events to take place that might not be immediately obvious.  I brought along a copy of the rules but did not need to open the book let alone run a tooth-comb through each line to find a reference and interpret what it meant.  A clear win for Kings of War as a gaming platform.

Kings of War Orcs vs Humans

A 2,000 point game at the club of humans against Orcs although in practice the Orcs ended up a few points light.  I thought that I had 5 units of Orc regiments but on laying out the models that turned out to be 2 regiments and 1 horde.  My opponent had no experience of Kings of War so took the theoretically stronger human force.  All the figures (except the giant) are Games Workshop that were originally signed up for  Warhammer armies.  With the introduction of Age of Sigmar classic Warhammer games are no longer in vogue over here.  The 2 obvious alternatives are the fan supported 9th Age or Mantic’s Kings of War.  With the exception of the trolls and some individual pieces the models are on magnetised movement trays.  Some of these are commercial MDF others made from bits of wood and floor tile.  All my trays used to be optimised for Warhammer unit sizes and some have now been cut down for Kings of War.  I can also do Kings of War using Warmaster based 10mm figures.  These are a tiny bit fiddly but a lot easier to transport than 28mm armies.  I only just made it to the club with this lot.

A view of the human army from the Orc lines at set up.  The Orc archers have used their free vanguard move to get into the trees on the right before turn 1.  Just off camera to the left is a giant signed up with  the Orcs.  The brown areas are wooded broken ground.  They have no significant height.


The Orcs took first turn and made a cautious advance in the centre while pushing forward on the right wing.  Good shooting and a poor nerve test saw the human shot unit that used to be where the yellow die is now take an early bath.


The rest of the Orc army moved forward cautiously except on the left wing where units advanced to deny the rough terrain to the humans.


Human turn 1 sees shot and reitiers manoevring to block the Orc flank attack.  All yellow dice are unit losses, green dice are rolled for combat.  The giant takes a single hit.


A view from the human lines at the end of their turn 1.  Most of the action is on the human right but human berserkers are moving up on their far left.  The cannon only shot once through the entire game and even then inflicted minimal damage.


Orc turn 2 sees the Orc archers repositioning to shoot at the human knights.  3 chariots will not fit onto the approved base size so the chariot unit is made up of only 2 chariots but with a boar mounted outrider.


On human turn 2 there is more shuffling as the humans rely on firepower alone to halt the Orcs.  The results are disappointing.


Orc turn 3, the giant charges in hoping for an easy kill but inflicts minimal losses and is driven back.  For a repaint of a £1 store toy figure he is still holding his own against those flashy Games Workshop castings.


The beginning of human turn 3 shows the steady Orcish advance.


The humans go for it.  Their knights and general slam into the Orc horde but only cause 5 hits.  We learn that Orcs are tough.


The steamtank also charges into the trolls, again the enemy is not destroyed.


Orc turn 4 sees massive and devastating Orc counter-attacks.  One unit of reiters is lost, another is shaken by a boar rider atttack.  The steam tank and knights are down.


The human flanks are looking weak.  The Orc chariots charge into a unit of shot but the defenders stand.


Human turn 4 sees some good news for the humans as a unit of berserkers sees off the Orc chariots and the human general flies out of danger.


Orc turn 5 sees a steady Orc advance.  The human shot hold out due to the nearby very inspiring leader on his winged beast.  The cannon should have gone at this point but we forgot to treble attacks against war engines.


At the end of human turn 5 the berserkers have destroyed the last unit of Orck bowmen and have turned to face the expected troll onslaught.


Orc turn 6, with the berserkers wiped out by trolls the humans concede.


The spear and halberd hordes in the human centre never got into the battle.  The humans frittered away their excellent knights and the steam tank in unsupported attacks.  The flying general did OK but as a model was a nightmare.  He looks the business but bits stick out all over requiring and unreasonably large box to transport him to and from games.  I will be tidying up the army lists and taking the Orcs up to the full 2,000 points then trotting the armies out again hopefully swapping sides to see to what degree the lists or the generals’ ‘tactics’ had to do with the overall result.