KOW – Herd of Khazbar vs Tony’s Herd – SELWG Competition game

The third of my competition games is perhaps the one I was most looking forward to. This is because it is against the only member of the group that i’ve never played before. It also happens that Tony is the club President so i had to ensure my best behaviour 😉. Tony was also the only other player in the comp’ using the Herd but with different take with his list. I was pleased about that as it gave me a chance to see things in action that I wouldn’t normally take myself.

As normal I’ll start by caveating that any errors in this post are down to my notes and/or memory.

Tony’s Herd List – 2000pts

Great Chieftain – 140pts

Shaman – Heal – 120pts

Shaman – Heal – 120pts

Tribal Warriors – horde – 200pts

Tribal Warriors – horde – 200pts

Longhorns – Regiment – 145pts

Longhorns – Regiment – Blessing of the gods – 170pts

Tribal Spears – Horde – 205pts

Hunters – Troop – 75pts

Harpies – Troop – 90pts

Guardian Brutes – Regiment – 150pts

Tribal Chariots – Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar – 160pts

Brutox – 220pts

I’m going to start by looking at the elements that i’ve not seen before.

Tribal Warriors Horde – These look to be a fairly standard horde stats with, high nerve (20/22), melee and def of 4+ and 25 attacks. It also has the army wide TC (1) and pathfinder. This makes it no slouch in combat but nothing out of the ordinary. However he does have two of them!

Tribal Spears Horde – Again the stats are similar with melee/def of 4+. It differs as it has a slightly lower nerve (19/21) more attacks (30) and the Phalanx rule, which negates TC if charged from the front (which will impact most of my units). This makes this unit far more dangerous than the warriors in my eyes (at least to attack) and it’s only 5 more points.

Hunters Troop – This is one of his two chaff units. Hitting on 5’s, doesn’t cause much worry and with a 3+ def and 8/10 nerve they will die to a swift breeze. They do however have vanguard and throwing weapons, so will use this potentially contest objectives and to start chipping away at my units from the word go. They would be dangerous if they hit my own chaff for even a single wound.

Tribal Chariots Regiment – This is the final unit that i’ve not seen/used.  It hits hard on a 3+ with TC (2) and has caterpillar to ensure it retains the TC. It does only have 8 attacks so, like the longhorns, ideally wants to get in a flank. It does have Sp 8 so is his joint 2nd fastest unit (matching the Brutox). Bows does give it a ranged threat but it hits on 5+ so this reduces to a 6 when they move. It also only has a 11/13 nerve and 4+ def so shouldn’t survive much attention.

Great Chieftain – I really want to see how Tony uses this character as I’ve only used the chariot version. He also has a good def (5) and hits reasonably hard (3+ with both CS and TC 1) but only ever with 5 attacks due to being an individual.

Guardian Brutes Regiment – Again this is a unit I use but i’ve never run anything less than a horde so I was curious how differently the regiment would perform. It has half the attacks (12) and a lower nerve (12/15 vs 15/18), which puts it in a similar range as the Longhorns but harder hitting. It retains the def 5 so can absorb hits from the right enemy.

Shaman – Like myself he is running 2 shamans upgraded with heal (5). With inspire and BC (3) as standard they are extremely versatile and I can’t overstate how much I really love these in the support role.

Longhorn Regiments – these elite beastmen hit consistently hard and I’ve found using two regiments as a team work really well, as in this role they act as another horde when attacking.

Harpies – the second of his chaff and I think his most versatile with fly, nimble and vicious (I’m still regretting not taking a unit). If this gets into my backfield it could cause some real issues. In some ways I would prefer it to block me so I could remove it early on.

Brutox – I’ve not made up my mind about the Brutox. I want to love it and my last game showed me its potential but it’s yet to reach it. I have a sneaky suspicion we might be having a ‘Brutox off’ on a flank so I’ll try and swing that in my favour with support.

As normal I wrote this but before the battle and tried to think how I would deploy his army. I’d expect the 2 units of Warriors to form the core of his line and the final horde of Tribal spears to anchor one end. I’d want the longhorns to back these units up and hit flanks where possible to maximise their smaller number of attacks. The Brutox and Chariots i’d put on one flank to cause mischief. Harpies and Hunters would be there to get in the way. I’m not sure where he’d put the Brutes. If I had flyers, then i’m sure either they or one of the Longhorns would be held in reserve. They might anchor the other end of the horde line, with a Longhorn regiment behind them, as their high def should help mitigate any initial damage.

Looking at his list, a number of things immediately jumped out at me. He had almost no magic items and he had a bucket load of infantry units. The three hordes, in themselves would give him a large frontage and combined with the 2 longhorn regiments, would likely cover over half the table making it hard to flank him.

I have to try and flank him though, as even my strongest units will not chew through a horde in a single turn and I have found that  my hordes will generally only survive for 1 or possibly 2 rounds of combat against another horde (the spirit horde really suffers with its low def). Unfortunately he has 2 more drops than I do meaning that it will be that much harder to accomplish.

Quite a few of his units (bar the hordes), do have low nerve, so I might be able to remove them quite quickly.

I also won’t be able to use terrain to my advantage as he has all the same inherent army rules, so I’m going to have to play this one carefully.

My final note to myself is to remember that guardian brutes don’t have pathfinder. I must remember to use them in open ground!!

img_2780

The Herd of Khazbar the Reborn – 2000pts

Khazbar – Shaman – heal + Myrddin’s Amulet – 130pts

Wazzock the Renewed – Shaman – heal – 120pts

Zurrock the Mighty – Chieftain on Chariot – bows + Fire Oil – 205pts

Beast Pack – Troop – 70pts

Beast Pack – Troop – 70pts

Tribal Spirit Walkers – Horde – Brew of Strength – 260pts

Longhorns – Regiment – 145pts

Stampede – Horde – Brew of Sharpness – 305pts

Guardian Brutes – Horde – Blessing of the Gods – 255pts

Brutox – 220pts

Brutox – 220pts

Terrain

We rolled Map pack 6 from Neil’s terrain generator, which contained: 4*tree bases, 2 hills, 2*marsh. I rolled player A and the terrain was set up as follows.

  1. Player A places 4*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and no nearer than 6” from any table edge & at least 6” apart.
  2. Player B places 2*marsh in any DZ at least 9” from any table edge. Both can be in the same DZ.
  3. Player A places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player A places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.

1 Terrain

Deployment

The terrain was so evenly placed that we kept sides but Tony won the roll so started to deploy first. I kept to my pre-game deployment strategy (which was slightly different to the last game).

I won the first turn roll and elected to go first.

2 Deployment

1 Deployment - Herd of Khazbar2 Deployment - herd of Khazbar3 Deployment - herd of Khazbar4 Deployment - Tony's Herd5 Deployment - Tony's Herd6 Deployment - Overall

Turn 1 – Herd of Khazbar

With a loud bray, Khazbar signaled his forces to move forward. The centre advanced carefully with right flank being more aggressive. The Brutox on the left flank advanced using wood to shield it, backed up by the chief, who shot a few wounds on the nearest warrior horde.

3 Turn 1 - Mark Herd

7 - Turn 1 - Herd of Khazbar8 - Turn 1 - Herd of Khazbar9 - Turn 1 - Herd of Khazbar

Turn 1 – Tony’s Herd

The enemy forces mirrored Khazbar’s approach and also advanced cautiously in the centre. The Brutox cleared the wood and positioned to force an action from Zurrock and his supporting Brutox next turn. The Harpies flew up the other side of the wood to also threaten their flank.

On the other side of the battlefield, the hunters launched their axes at the the stampede causing some flesh wounds.

The Chariots then charged the beast pack, their scythes cutting the dogs to pieces and the steel rims of the wheels grinding the corpses into the mud.

4 Turn 1 - Tony Herd

10 - Turn 1 - Tony's Herd11 - Turn 1 - Tony's Herd

Turn 2 – Herd of Khazbar

In a preemptive strike on the left flank, the Brutox and Chieftain struck at the enemy Brutox softening it up.

The beast pack moved up to block the left most warrior horde, preventing it from supporting the Brutox or charging the Longhorns who had moved up to both avoid the Harpies and threaten the flank of the Brutox.

On the other flank the Stampede and Brutox obliterated the Chariots that faced them. The Brutox was unable to contain its fury and swept towards the Longhorn regiment that had moved up to support them.

5 Turn 2 - Mark Herd

12 - Turn 2 - Herd of Khazbar13 - Turn 2 - Herd of Khazbar14 - Turn 2 - Herd of Khazbar

Turn 2 – Tony’s Herd

The Brutox counter charged into the Chieftain but bounced after causing minimal wounds despite the bane chant that had swelled it’s muscles beyond their normal size. The Harpies continued to move round the wood so that they were now threatening the rear of Khazbar’s lines.

The Tribal Warriors steamrollered the blocking Beast Pack in short order, ready to assist the nearby Brutox.

The Elite Longhorns charged the Brutox on the far flank hoping to remove it. In that, they failed, but in a shocking turn of events the nearby troop of hunters charged the flank of the Stampede and wavered them showing up the cream of the Herd army. The Elites scowled at the hunters. The little runts would have to be slapped back into line later in case they forgot their place!

6 Turn 2 - Tony Herd

15 - Turn 2 - Tony's Herd16 - Turn 2 - Tony's Herd17 - Turn 2 - Tony's Herd

Turn 3 – Herd of Khazbar

Zurrock ordered his mount to re-engage the enemy Brutox. Assisted by a fresh charge from the raging giant next to him, they finally bought low the enemy Brutox. Zurrock then pulled sharply on his reins wheeling round to face the imminent attack of the Harpies.

Khazbar’s Longhorns and the horde of ravening Spirit Walkers both charged into the nearest Warrior horde and taking an affront to their unpainted nature, tore straight through them. The remnants quickly ran off the field of battle.

The Brutox on the far flank continued the war of attrition with the elite Longhorns.

7 Turn 3 - Mark Herd

Turn 3 – Tony’s Herd

The enemy hordes chose this moment to attack. The second warrior horde, seeking revenge hit the Spirit Walkers. Only the fearless nature of their foes prevented their destruction. The Spear Warriors also charged but targeted the Guardian Brute horde. Their lack of Crushing Strength or Thunderous charge prevented many wounds getting through the Guardian’s armour.

The Chief and the Harpies combined to try and remove Zurrock and despite causing damage, only wavered him. They were supported by the Longhorns who put a number of wounds on the Brutox.

The other unit of Elite Longhorns had more luck than their compatriots and bought low the other Brutox. The hunters, remembering they were not meant to do anything useful, missed the writhing mass of creatures two foot in front of them with all the weapons thrown in that direction!

8 Turn 3 - Tony Herd

18- Turn 3 - Tony's Herd19 - Turn 3 - Tony's Herd20 - Turn 3 - Tony's Herd

Turn 4 – Herd of Khazbar

Along the line, the Herd counter-charged where possible. The Brutox continued the fight with the enemy longhorns, regenerating wounds in the process. Khazbar’s elite warriors charged the Chieftain in an attempt to remove him and overrun to support the Brutox. Despite causing significant damage he gained inspiration from the nearby troops and held his ground.

Khazbar looked at Wazzock and they combined their healing to remove almost all the damage previously caused to the Spirit Horde. The revitalised horde then tore apart the enemy warriors infront of them. Khazbar then invoked the power of his amulet and cast bane chant on the Guardian Brutes to assist their ongoing combat with the Phalanx of spears.

Feeling outnumbered and taking advantage of the Hunters inability to have caused any nerve checks in the previous turn, they smashed apart the elite Longhorns and turned to face the remaining enemy on that side of the table looking to get some payback for the earlier cowardly flank charge. At this point the Hunters started to look rather worried.

9 Turn 4 - Mark Herd

21 - Turn 4 - Herd of Khazbar22 - Turn 4 - Herd of Khazbar23 - Turn 4 - Herd of Khazbar

Turn 4 – Tony’s Herd

With their numbers thinning, Tony’s forces tried to even the odds. The Chief and Harpies again tried to take down Zurrock and even with the Chief fluffing his atttacks, they again wavered him. Likewise, the Brutox was on the receiving end of the Longhorns attack but shrugged off the attacks.

The Regiment of Minotaurs that had been lurking in the back field, finally had a clear path and snorting and bellowing they crashed into the spirit walkers but were unable to break them due to the earlier healing.

The spears continued to target the Guardian Brute horde and were able to waver them in the process.

The two shamans each threw heals out. One to the Longhorns and the other to the Spears.

10 Turn 4 - Tony Herd

24 - Turn 4 - Tony's Herd25 - Turn 4 - Tony's Herd26 - Turn 4 - Tony's Herd

Turn 5 – Herd of Khazbar

In the decisive turn of the game, Khazbar’s forces stuck a number of fatal blows.

The Stampede secured the right flank (we just rolled the nerve test for the hunters due to their low nerve and number of attacks coming their way).

The Spirit Walker Horde and Guardian Brutes (Stone beating scissors Fury countering Waver) did enough damage to remove both their respective foes (Minotaurs and Spear Warriors).

The Longhorns took down the Chief and overran into Tony’s remaining Longhorn regiment and this combined with the counter charge from the Brutox (who continued to regenerate) sealed their fate. The Brutox seeking fresh meat then turned to face the harpies.

Both Khazbar and Wazzock  cast heal but this time they split the spells between the Spirit Walkers and the Guardian Brutes.

11 Turn 5 - Mark Herd

Turn 5 – Tony’s Herd

With a steely determination (or like a dog refusing to let go of a bone), the Harpies again charged the Zurrock and finally bought down the resilient Chieftain.

12 Turn 5 - Tony Herd

Turn 6 – Herd of Khazbar

We didn’t actually play this turn but it was pretty obvious that the raging Brutox would catch the harpies, whilst Tony’s Shaman’s would scuttle away to safety, keeping out of charge arcs and with that we called the game.

Results

The final result was:

Mark – Killed: 1,760pts

Tony – Killed: 465pts

A first win for the Herd of Khazbar the Reborn and a whole 2 points!!

Conclusions

It was a thoroughly enjoyable game as it was very social and I got to know Tony a bit more. His army was mainly composed of classic GW metal Beastmen miniatures and those that were painted looked fantastic.

It turned out that Tony had played around the same number of KOW games as I had (not many) but over a much greater period, with his first game being just after KOW 2nd Ed had been released. Like me, he had entered the comp to get some games and further experience under his belt.

As with my last fight I had sketched out a pre-battle deployment. It had some fluidity as I wanted to ensure the Guardian Brutes were not impeded by terrain and I wanted to use the Brutox and Chieftain to get Tony to deploy items on the opposite flank to give the Stampede a chance to clear up the opposite one. In the main I was happy with how deployment worked out. His deployment was not too far off what I expected. I did underestimate what a wide frontage his force would have.

Leaving the flank of the stampede exposed to the hunters was an error. I underestimated that they could do that much damage even from the flank and the waver, although unexpected, could have as easily it could have been a route. I have a real blind spot with this unit and keep making the same mistake each game. It also shows that if I split my forces I really need a source of healing for each element (in this case, preferably a mounted shammy to keep up and also inspire!).

In hindsight (which is always a marvelous thing) I think Tony made a couple of errors in the game. Taking the bait and charging the beast pack with his Warriors took them out of the battle line and allowed me to duel charge them and destroy the unit in one round of combat. This lost him his superior numbers in the centre. Admittedly he was unlucky not to take my Spirit Walkers out in his turn and my double heal on the unit was definitely above average and kept them in the fight. In fact most of my heal rolls were very high which helped my hordes outlast Tony’s.

Holding back with the chariots and shooting the other beast pack may also have been the better option too as it would have allowed his longhorns to move up in support. In fairness he did forget they had bows at the time.

I also think he may have been better off moving the other longhorn unit so it was slightly in the woods. This would have given him the ability to flank the Brutox in combat with his Brutox. Even ending the Harpies first move in the woods, rather than behind them, would have influenced how I played both that flank and the centre. As it was I was able to use the woods to shield my movements.

Overall, although the margin of victory was quite high, I would say that this was more down to Tony’s lack of recent practice, rather than any superior generalship on my behalf. Good dice rolls and not making any real serious blunders also helped swing the battle my way.

My final group game vs Alex’s elves is scheduled in for 19th May.

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