Saturday, August 5, 2023

Onsaught III- Death or Glory

 Post Onslaught III- unit reflection

21-22 July 2023

We held our annual KoW weekend/event down here in Oamaru the weekend of Juy 22-23. This year was Gordon’s turn to run the event so I got to play. In my practice games I lost 6 out of 8 games (losing 6 out of 7 vs Gordon) so didn't have the best of records heading into the weekend. However, my reguar oppoent, Gordon, is a very, very good player, the top around here by a long way. He is very methodical and understands how the game works to a level that I quite simply don’t  and I really have to work hard to get a win or even often get an open flank! So though I ahdn't had the most successfu build up going into the event I was happy with the army I’d come up with and keen ot see how it would perform in 5 games vs 5 very differnt armies. 

My aim for the weekend was to try to win 3 out of 5 games but more importantly simply to enjoy the games and see what happens. I was looking forward to playing a mix of different opponents and seeing how well my Varangur could do. One of my weaknesses with KoW is I simply have no ability to run the same sit twice. Each week I want to tweak this, or try that so a having to play the same sit 5 games in a row is kind of liberating.

I’ve done a video review of my games but I managed to sneak out first place thanks to a large win in the last round and Jeff, my opponent from game 3 who beat me, losing badly to a Ratkin army.


I’ve done a video report on the games here , here and here.

 Game 1: Invade vs Wayne’s Free Dwarves

First game up was Invade. We usually start gaming weekends/comps with this one as it isn’t too complicated for new payers but more interesting than a straight up Kill. My Varangur had the mobility advantage over the dwarves so I was able to dictate the tempo of the game and which units were charged when. Some multicharges at the dwarf horde holding the centre smashed a rather arge hole in the dwarven lines and I was then able to roll them up.

Victory to the Varangur.


Game 2: Dominate vs Nigel’s Kingdom’s of Men.

Nigel is one of my old gaming buddies and we’ve been to many Flames of War comps together. He has an amazingly well painted Samauri inspired army that he was fielding, the centrepiece being two fantastic Oni (giants). My aim in this one was to avoided the Oni and chip away at his infantry if I could.

Again, I had the mobility advantage but the game was close throughout and was a good, fun game. In the end though the Varangur’s shooting swung things towards the Varangur and they proved victorious.


Game 3: Control vs Jeff’s Ogres

popped down to Dunedin and had a game recently vs Jeff’s ogres. He’d changed things up since we last played, more chariots, less shooters. The mission is invade which is the mission I probably east want to face Ogre’s on. With every unit scoring at the end of the game the ogre heroes tend to disappear to claim random sectors of the board so you need to kil them all.

Turn 2 was the decisive turn in this one. I mistakenly allowed my tundra wolves to be charged by an angry horde of Berserker braves. I’d thrown my huscar’;s put as chaff vs Manny the mammoth but as they refused to hold and became road kill squished under Manny’s feet. Then my heavy hitting Son’s of Korgun got themselves chaffed up on the same turn by boomer chariots that I’d failed to recognise as a potential threat- and suddenly I was on the back foot. Jeff didn’t et the pressure off from there and though I cawed things back a bit in the end couldn’t deal with all those scoring characters left on table. A well deserved win to Jeff.

 Day 2:

 Game 4: Smoke and Mirrors vs Dave’s Varangur.

Dave had a very different army to mine having taken 2 hordes of Fallen, 2 regiment of  huscarls, a cavern dweller and lord on frostfang. Another elite army with only 10 drops but almost all hard hitting. I had more drops and also more mobility with my three mounted sons regiments.

This one was another fun game that swung one way then the other thanks to some l time double 1s by both of us but in the end the mobility advantage one out and I managed to destroy al the Falen units and huscarls- the magus with Arcane Curse being instrumental in getting rid of the 2nd horde of those. In the end my army proved triumphant.


Game 5: Raze vs Eric’s Salamanders

I’d not played Salamanders before and so was not sure what to expect. Eric had rather large army but deployed quite linear and with no depth to take the charge of the mounted sons. As a result when his horde of Salamander primes a combo charge of Huscarls and Mounted Sons destroyed them opening a huge hole in the lines that I was able to exploit. The hard hitting Mounted Sons and  Huscarls then rolled up the Salamanders in what proved to be a very one sided fight. I lost a thegn on frostfang and Eric conceded at the end of turn 4.


Final results

Going into that last round I was in second place about 12 points behind Jeff. Jeff played Eugene with his Ratkin and had his first loss, my large win meant that I was able to sneak past Jeff and win by about 3 points (105 vs 102) so a great overall result to the Varangur though Jeff could fee righty disappointed to have the rug puled out from under him in the last game as he had played really well all weekend.

Overa, it was a fantastic weekend with 5 good fun game spayed in a friendly spirit which a the end of the day is the main reason I wargame, to roll dice and have  fun.

My aim going into the weekend was to try to win three games and I managed to win 4 so was more than happy with that. The army performed really well for me, was solid and hard hitting. I still made quite a few mistakes in the games but overall think it performed well and ook forward to our next Kings of War weekend which will be held in Christchurch in September. 

 So how did the individual units perform?

 Night Raiders

A great unit. I only lost them vs the ogres- apparently they didn’t appreciate charges by chariots and then hunters. Their main role is to hide in cover and plink away with their bows whenever possible and did well in this role.

Def 3 means they can’t stand up to much in the way of shooting but with stealthy and being  able to hang out in difficult terrain thanks to pathfinder and then charge out with thunderous +1 was at times was very handy. They are basically budget Gladestalkers. Very dependable and I’d not leave home without 2 regiments.

Rating: A


Ah, huscarls. The whole reason I built the army was due to buying some second hand Chaos Marauder figures and needed to build an army round them. I’ve now used them for 13 games. The word I’d use to describe them is dependable; they hit like a truck (20 attacks, hitting on 3s with crushing 2). Their relatively slow move is their main drawback and I think they do need either the mead of madness or brew of haste to mitigate that. It takes a bit of skill to get the most out of them but they make a great second line/ follow through unit. They were great at anchoring the centre where they were either flanked by night raiders or were deployed beside the night raiders to support them. I also often had the lord with the devoted icon (stealth) to further protect them vs shooting.

 I usually used them in a battlegroup with the nightstalkers and Snow Troll Prime. It was very satisfying getting a combination charge into a unit with Mounted Sons. However, they didn’t appreciate being used as bait/thick chaff vs Manny the Mammoth who turned them into road kill very quickly but they were pretty handy in all other games.

Even so, I think I’ll be dropping them down to the new Tribesmen regiment- 150pts, Crush 1, 12 attacks and lower nerve as I mainly use them in a support role so think a regiment or two of bog standard tribesmen will suffice.

Rating: B+


Mounted Sons of Korgun

Spd 8, 18 attacks hitting on 3s with crush 1, thunderous 1 means that even after the initial charge then can grind their way through units. But just because they have 18 attacks hitting on 3s doesn’t mean that they can be thrown out at an enemy unsupported. It has taken me a while but finally getting used to ensuring they are supported with either a second regiment, a snow troll prime, thegn on FF, a lord, some tundra wolves or even the night raiders- see my point! Never charge them unsupported if you can avoid it. A lesson it has taken me a long time to learn.

I replaced the frost giant or cavern dweller with a third mounted son Regiment and am glad I did, the extra charge range was invaluable and if I was really sneaky I’d find a way to include  the Brew of Haste for extra charge range goodness.  Like many things in Kings, units in threes are often more effective than taking them in twos.

Rating: A+


Tundra Wolves regiment

Tundra wolves oh how I love thee, but oh how badly I use them on the tabletop! 18 attacks, hitting on 3s with an 18” charge range and nimble, these wolves are awesome. Oh, and as of this week (we couldn’t use the new upgraded army lists at the weekend) they come with pathfinder built in! Woop! Woop! They are one of my favourite units but damn I use them poorly at times. By not measuring properly I got them into charge range and killed by:

Game 1: Dwarven Berserkers

Game 3: Ogre Berserker braves

Game 4: Huscarls- okay this one was planned to take out a Varangur conclave. 

With the way I used them on the flanks maybe I should be sticking to running them as troops for a while to get the hang of them rather than using them (poorly) as medium cav/shock troops

Rating: A, but my using them to the best their abilities: B



Alchemist curse and lightning bolt

Very useful. Would be more useful with the boots of levitation (+30pts) meaning he can move 10” and still cast. Or also mounting him and adding the boots- as useful as the elven version IMO. I didn’t use alchemist curse as much as I’d like but took out a unit of huscarls with him in game 4 and whenever he did cast it certainly woke my opponents up and he suddenly became a major threat.  The lightning bolt was handy supporting the night raider bowmen to get another wound or two.

Rating: A


Lord on foot: 130pts

6 attacks, +3 hit, Crush str +2,  Def 5, Spd 5. Devoted icon (Stealth)

Mobility an issue (5” move/11” charge) but the devoted icon gave him a 6” stealth bubble to protect the barbarian units so quite good value and was extremely good at protecting my units as a result.

Useful to delay attacks but need to be at least 4 ½” from units for this to work.  He took a couple of charges that I was expecting him to die. Low nerve can also be an issue. 

I can see the value in the Wings of Honeymaze (21” charge range/ Def 4) but also the mounted lord (no Icon) could be useful at +35pts.


·       Game 2: Killed as chaff by knights

·       Game 3: Killed as chaff vs berserker braves

·       Game 4: Killed by lord of frostfang

Rating: B+


Thegns on Frostfangs

5 attacks (6 with snow fox), crushing 2, strider and nimble. Good mini versions of the Lords. Useful as chaff or supporting Mounted Sons, especially if from a flank. Thegns aren’t quite as tough as the Lords but are a lot cheaper and very, very handy.

·       Game 2: both killed

·       Game 3: both killed

·       Game 4: Lost one to the Fallen

Rating: A


Snow Troll Prime

Another inspiring source and solid performer. He got good use as chaff when required and was always going to be expendable. He often got used to support the Night Raiders but was handy in all the games.

Rating: B+

·       Game 1: Killed by dwarves

·       Game 2: Survived

·       Game 3: Killed by hunter

·       Game 4: Killed by frostlord

·       Game 5: Survived

Overall Thoughts

I was happy with the balance of the army and the way it performed. The Mounted Sons are very solid but do need support when charging and the thegns and snow troll were able to provide that support. Likewise the nigh raiders made a good platform

My one loss vs Jeff was when I allowed him to dictate the pressure of the game, a couple of poor positioning of units and he seized the initiative and didn’t let go of it, so well played by Jeff.

It was a sold army, hits hard but needed some coordination, and was also reasonably resilient to boot.


Possible changes

Reduce huscarls to the new tribesmen (150pts)

Look at adding a 2nd Magus rather than the ord on foot- or else ad wings of honeymaze to the lord.

The way I used tundra wolves two troops may have been a better option.

I would also consider brining back the Cavern dweller.