Sunday, October 18, 2015

Battle Report - Wrath of Kings

For this game, I wanted to experiment with shifting the proportion of my forces more towards Defender Linemen, as opposed to my Union Worker pigmen.  And by assigning the Defender Linemen Controller as the Commander, I hoped his Training, 'Iron Will', would aid in a battle versus Hadross, who have a few Will Attacks.

When I saw Hadross' deployment, I decided to experiment with yet another idea that I've been rolling around in my head -- decoupling the Leaders from their same-type units.  When Leaders command same-type units, the units benefit from the Leader's Inspiration.  But does the Inspiration make enough of a difference for the game, ultimately, or is it really very situational?

When I saw the Hadrossian deployment, I wanted a smaller force on the right, to skirmish and delay the Hadrossian left flank.  I wanted a greater concentration of my force in the center, where the bulk of the action would occur.  Commanding larger numbers in the center demanded placing the Linemen Controller there, since he was the Commander.  The Union Worker Boss therefore would command the small skirmish force of Linemen on the right flank.  Thus, the Leaders were decoupled from their same-type units, with the exception of the Commander with his rear rank of Linemen.

Teknes experiments with an unorthodox command structure.

The Hadrossian Motivation was Treasure Hunt.  The round markers that are spread across the center of 'No Man's Land' mark the Hadrossian objectives.  There's a fourth marker placed in the forest on the left side.  I'm allowed to place two of the markers, so I put one in the forest, which is Difficult terrain, and I placed the other one on the far extreme right, spreading out the objectives in the hope of complicating maneuver and position for the slow-moving Hadrossians.

Two of the four markers are the actual objectives, and neither player knows which ones they are, being randomized.  Naturally, Hadross want the actual objectives to be nearby and close together.  Teknes wants them to be farther away from Hadross and spread apart.

The Teknes Motivation is 'Capture Prisoner'.  Teknes must "kill" Hadrossian Leaders and/or Specialists and then escort them back to the Teknes deployment zone. 

The handmade terrain piece, 'Stairway to Heaven', makes a magnificent return to the gameboard!


Battle begins!  Hadross slingshots his Gutters forward by hitching a ride on the TaxiCrab.  A Gutter unveils the first objective on Turn 1 and discovers Treasure!

Teknes spreads out the forces in a bid to cover the possibility of the next Treasure being located either in the forest or in the center of the board.  Teknes hopes the Treasure will be in the forest, since Teknes will be able to outnumber Hadross there in short order, as well as split the Hadross army with the skirmish team.


The bacon is hot!

Hadross reveals the objective in the center and discovers their second Treasure!  Teknes is now on the back foot.  The Hadross plan is now very simple -- kill 9 Teknes models.

Teknes, on the other hand, have a hard task ahead of them.  They must beat through the Hadrossian line to reach the Leaders and Specialists.

The maneuver game finished, the enemy forces collide.

Teknes initiated the battle scrum by charging with the Union Worker pigmen.  This is where the experiment showed the importance of having the proper Leaders assigned to the same-type units.  While the Union Workers outnumbered the Gutters in their match-ups, the pigmen could have really used the option to be Whipped Into Frenzy by the Union Boss, and, given the crappy dice rolls, Teknes could have really used the Inspiration, Offensive Expertise, which would have permitted some re-rolls.  I doubt the results would have been any different, given the horrible dice rolls, but denying myself the option of Whip Into Frenzy and Offensive Expertise felt like a poor strategic decision.

Defender Linemen come to the Rescue of the pigmen, pulling them out of the combat so that the pigmen can be applied to more important objectives.

Linemen 'Rescue' the wounded Union Workers but unwittingly form a match-up that Teknes soon regrets, as the Linemen crumble against the overpowering Gutters, feeding even more victory points to Hadross.

Teknes makes a second push.

The way is clear for the Union Workers to collapse on the Gutter Friar Leader.
Unfortunately, the Teknes Commander almost dies from an encounter with the crab.  He must now be rescued.

The Gutter Friar goes down in a flurry of bacon-fueled blades.
However, the Teknes Commander is still exposed, and he falls to a crab charge.  Game over!

The battle collapsed for the Teknes general (me!) on several counts.  However, the game was very educational, and I'm glad I took the opportunity to try out the alternative force structure, just to see what would happen.  Nice to give it a try with a small game, so that it's easier to observe the impact of the alternative force structure and draw more convincing conclusions about it. 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the game Mike! It was a pleasure as always and I fear our next match when those pigmen are going to be "whipped" into a frenzy and have offensive expertise.

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  2. Likewise, always a pleasure to play with you, Chris. It's nice to have another casual-minded player for a change. I'm glad you made it down to Huntsville!

    As for Pain-Fueled Pigmen, I wouldn't be too worried. Synergy is certainly a positive, but my thought right now is that I think the game is won more by careful unit dispersion, activation sequence, and maneuvering for favorable match-ups. Oh, and knowledge of your opponent's capability! (I'm sure Sun Tzu would probably agree on that one) I still have a lot of work to do on that count.

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  3. Mike,
    Did you learn the game as you played it, or do you know of any decent tutorials on how it plays? I've love to see this thing demo'd at some point!
    -G

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    1. Greg,
      The Kickstarter page is a good place for a colorful introduction to the game. The first half-dozen videos introduce you to the game and the factions, trailer-style, but about half-way down is a game-play tutorial.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coolminiornot/wrath-of-kings/description

      I learn best by reading, so I just read the rulebook, and then I participated in some small tournaments at CMON Expo, a Chattanooga game store, and NOVA Open. If you're going to Adepticon, I'm sure CMON will probably be providing demos there.

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