Kings of War: Goonhammer’s Urr Takes On Clash of Kings Australia – Day 1

G’day Goonhammer readers! Urr has returned from the front lines at Clash of Kings Australia with Part 1 of his tournament report. Clash of Kings is Australia’s biggest Kings of War event. This year we had about 60 Kings of War players gather in the big hall in Canberra’s Technology Park for two days of dice throwing and beer swilling.

From the Goonhammer team, it was just me (Urr) up there again, with my newly repainted Nightstalkers. You can check out the list and some pictures here, and also our past adventures at the event here and here.

Previously On…

For a quick recap, this is my 2300 points of Nightstalkers I took to Clash of Kings Australia: 

3 x Scarecrows (Regiment) 
2 x Phantoms (Troop) 
2 x Ravagers (Horde) - Blessing of the Gods, Fire-Oil
3 x Soulflayers (Regiment) 
2 x Mind-screech - Singing Aberration
1 x Terror 
1 x Banshee - Zephyr Crown
1 x Esenyshra, the Wailing Shadow

It’s got a bit of Enthrall, and a whole bunch of Wind Blast, with enough shooting to punish anything that gets to close. And that’s the whole plan, reel them in with Enthrall, shoot the crap out of them, and then blow back the survivors in order to do it all again on the next turn. Everything else that doesn’t shoot or Wind Blast/Enthrall is there to block, score or both. It’s been pretty effective in practice, so  come along for the journey and see how it goes.

Game 1 – Invade – Lindsay’s Nightstalkers 

1 x Doppelgangers (Regiment)
2 x Scarecrows (Regiment)
1 x Scarecrows (Horde) - Mead of Madness
1 x Reapers (Troop) - Skirmisher’s Boots
1 x Butchers (Regiment)
1 x Butchers (Horde)
2 x Ravagers (Regiments)
1 x Shadowhounds (Troop)
1 x Soulflayers (Regiment) - Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
2 x Mind-screech - 1 x Singing Aberration, 1 x Planar Apparition
1 x Shadow Hulk
1 x Esenyshra, the Wailing Shadow
1 x Butcher Fleshripper - Pipes of Terror

Ok, first up was Lindsay’s Nightstalkers. Aptly named, “what I have (mostly) painted” there was still a bit of work to be done on this army, but what was painted was looking good. And given that, it’s not a bad list. It is unoptimised, and so was probably going to struggle into me. I didn’t know how my shooting would go into Nightstalkers (missed that matchup in practice), but the Stealthy should be cancelled out by the generally lower defence. The biggest issue in a Nightstalker versus Nightstalker matchup is that there is no Inspiring on the board at all. A spike in either player’s nerve dice can just remove a unit, with no re-rolls to mitigate. 

As for Invade, I’ve definitely got the advantage. I’ve got a lot of fast flyinging units, and Wind Blast and Enthrall are great scenario tools, even when they’re not used to keep things in/out of the kill box. We both deploy wide across most of the board. Lindsay has a nice blocking piece of terrain on my right flank. I’ve got an annoying one on that side as well, but closer to the middle.

Nightstalkers versus Nightstalkers, no Inspiring, no mercy! My army on the bottom half in red-blue colour scheme. Credit: Urr.

I line up the Ravagers with their support pieces to the left of that little house, mostly spread across a forest. I’m a little worried about his Mind-screech getting a Lightning Bolt off and taking off the Banshee or Esenyshra, so they hide behind the forest. I’ve got a scattering of units on my right, just to delay, while the bulk of my force is on my left. The plan is to shoot off anything in the middle, and break through the left flank, while delaying on the right.

That is mostly what happens. 

Turn 1 and 2 are just jockeying for position, mostly just moving forward everywhere. I do get the nice pull/shoot/push off on the Scarecrow horde in the middle, and do a bunch of damage there. The Banshee and Mind-screech put a few wounds about and scatter the positioning on the left. 

I was right to be worried about Lightning Bolt. Lindsay rolls a little up against my Mind-screech, then rolls boxcars1 to take it off on his first Nerve test of the game. 

I do throw my Phantoms into his Shadowhounds Turn 2, betting I could break them in two rounds of combat. They needed to be out of the way so the Soulflayers could advance unimpeded, and the Hounds are the only thing in Lindsay’s army faster than them. It does leave the Soulflayers open to being shot by the troop of Ravagers, but Stealthy should make sure they’re fine, though no Inspiring does make me nervous.

The whole army sensible sits back while the Phantoms (see leftmost unit) tries their luck. Credit: Urr.

There’s not a lot Lindsay can do but run forward everywhere, so he does. Everything moves up and gets ready to weather one more turn of shooting before the lines meet.

Lindsay’s Nightstalkers (top) rushing in. Credit: Urr.

Unfortunately for Lindsay, on my turn when the lines do meet, I have a cracking time. Working left to right; my Phantoms kill his Shadowhounds, one unit of my Soulflayers routs the Ravager troop, the second Soulflayer and Esenyshra take out Lindsay’s Soulflayers. My Terror jams up the Butcher horde, while my Scarecrows tarpit his Scarecrows and the Shadowhulk. The Ravagers double-charge the Butcher troop, and take that off, and my little Scarecrow regiment-that-could get a few wounds and roll enough to take out Lindsay’s Scarecrow horde!

The scene after I charge Lindsay’s lines. Credit: Urr.

After Turn 3, I’ve killed a big chunk of Lindsay’s army, I’ve got Soulflayers facing down the flanks of his remaining units, and I’m in a position to disassemble the rest of the army. 

And that’s what happens. Not to say Lindsay doesn’t make me work for it. His Esenyshra and Butcher Fleshripper double-team to kill one of the Ravager hordes, and my Soulflayers on the right flank double one the Ravager regiment there, so they get flanked and killed by the Reaper troop.

And right at the end Lindsay goes for the high risk, high reward play, pulling most of the low unit strength combat units back into his half of the board to try to kill as much as he could.

A grand melee in the middle. Credit: Urr.

The big play doesn’t get him there, so it’s a solid win to me, though a bloody game. I’ve only got one Ravager horde, one Soulflayer, one Phantom plus the characters left, and crucially, all the unit strength has crossed the invade line. It was a fun game, and a pleasure to play Lindsay, so a great start to the day. This is the first time I’ve actually won my game one at Clash, so no submarining this time!

The survivors of Lindsay’s force. When there’s no Inspiring, things go quickly out of control. Credit: Urr.

Game 2 – Fool’s Gold – Luke’s Abyssal Dwarfs

1 x Abyssal Berserkers (Regiment) - Slaver Nets
1 x Blacksouls (Horde) - Fiery Bulwark, Aegis of the Elohi
1 x Immortal Guard (Regiment) - Infernal Wardens
1 x Decimators (Troop)
1 x Slave Orcs (Horde)
2 x Gargoyles (Troop)
1 x Slave Orc Gore Riders (Regiment)
1 x Abyssal Halfbreeds (Regiment)
1 x Abyssal Grotesques (Horde)
1 x Katsuchan Rocket Launcher
1 x Greater Obsidian Golem
2 x Iron-caster - 1 x Heal (5), 1 x Fireball (12)
1 x Abyssal Grotesque Champion

Ok, Game 2 and against Abyssal Dwarfs no less. There were a few Abyssal Dwarfs players this year since they got some very nice buffs in the latest Clash of Kings update (sidenote: we need to stop calling everything Clash of Kings!). Luke’s list here is the least reliant on shooting, which is a mixed bag. He hasn’t put as many points into it as other players, so there’s less “wasted” points vs my army’s innate Stealthy, but at the same time, the more dice you roll, the greater your chance of getting something though. I’m not worried about one Rocket Launcher, or the troop of Decimators. On the other hand, the Halfbreeds and Grotesques are very scary.

Most of the Dwarf units and the Golem can just be Wind Blasted and they’ll never make it to me, and there’s only two units of Gargoyles to out-speed me. Slave Orcs should go down to the Terror, so I should be fine if I can handle those hammers. Fool’s Gold can be a little tricky, but again, I’ve got the speed and movement spells to have the advantage.

I’ve clustered my valuable tokens on the left, with one of the 1 point tokens on the right and the two 0 point tokens in the far back, baiting Luke to hang back.

I deploy with a strong left flank. Once again I have a blocking piece of terrain about three quarters down my line on the right, so I’m using that to anchor the Ravagers. The far right has a unit of Phantoms and Soulflayers, to pressure that side and grab the 1 pointer if needed. Luke drops his Halfbreeds, Grotesques and Grotesque Champion on my left, and then its the Slave Orcs, the Golem and the Dwarfs all the way down until the very far right, where the Gore Riders will try to take on the Phantoms and Soulflayers.

A heavy flank of Nightstalkers hoping to punch through the Abyssal Dwarf lines. Credit: Urr.

Luke ends up getting the first Turn, which means I get to blow any of his units on tokens off them at the end of the game, as long as things don’t go too badly, this game should be in the bag. That doesn’t get off to a great start when his Rocket Launcher does one damage to a Ravager, and gets the box cars on the nerve. Luckily, it’s still just a waver, but hopefully not a sign of things to come. 

We get cracking into combat on my Turn 2. On the right flank, the combination of Phantoms and Soulflayers smash the un-Inspired Gore Riders. In the middle, the Terror puts a bunch of wounds on the Orc horde, and Wavers it. Esenyshra and one Soulflayer get a little lucky and take out the Halfbreeds, and Scarecrows do nothing but block up the Grotesques. Phantoms pop over the back and already I’m where I want to be.

The Nightstalkers break through the Abyssal Dwarf flank. Credit: Urr.

You might see a little problem in the photo above. A bit of Wind Blast was needed to keep the Greater Obsidian Golem out of range of the Ravagers, and guess who got exactly the wrong number? Now the big boy can see the Terror and is nicely positioned to take a flank on it.

Terror (now replaced by MDF base) getting flanked by Greater Obsidian Golem… not good! Credit: Urr.

Luckily, the Terror survives, and is ready to kill again. On the right, the Berserkers pick up the Phantoms, but the Soul Flayers just keep hopping around and threatening flanks and rears, and keeping the evil Dwarfs on their toes. The Terror gets double 1s3 on the Orcs, and is killed by the Golem in the following turn. The Soulflayers and Esenyshra on the left pick up the Grotesques, and then double 1s the Grotesque Champion on the following turn, as the Gargoyles get a rear charge on tho the Soulflayers. They live, and sacrifice themselves to the Dwarf’s Fireball after finishing off the Orcs. The Gargoyles also get double 1s  in the same turn as the Champion, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ve overwhelmingly won that side, and there’s 4 points worth of tokens there. 

Precious tokens in my possession. Credit: Urr.

While all this is happening on the flanks, the Ravagers and Mind-screech keep on doing their thing, picking off the Dwarfs in the middle. I get greedy and take a double Ravager charge into the wounded horde of Blacksouls. I don’t pop it, and one unit of Ravagers gets the horde in the face and the regiment of Berserkers in the flank. They don’t make it. The horde gets a hindered charge into the other Ravagers, but can’t seal the deal. The Berserkers eat hot magic blasts and cark it. That Blacksouls horde ends up sitting on the two pointer in the middle, so it looks like a close game, and then I summon the Wind Blasts. We scoot that unit back something wild, I think about 8 inches, and suddenly it’s 6-0 on the board.

The horde of Decimators (top) were blown far away from the Ravagers. Credit: Urr.

All in all, everything went pretty much as I had planned. The double ones certainly didn’t help, and attrition would have been even more in my favour, if the Terror had lived, or I could have had some Wizard hunting done earlier, but it all came out fine in the end. This was always going to be a tough game for the dwarfs but Luke did a great job with what he had.

Game 3 – Pillage (5 Tokens) – Damien’s Salamanders

1 x Ghekkotah Warriors (Troop)
1 x Salamander Unblooded (Horde)
1 x Salamander Ceremonial Guard (Horde)
2 x Fire Elementals (Horde)
2 x Greater Fire Elemental - 1 x Aura (Wild Charge +1 Salamanders), 2 x Rallying(Fire Elementals)
1 x Mage Priest - Heal (3), Surge (8)
2 x Clan Lord on Fire Drake - Blessing of the Gods, Chant of Hate
1 x Rakawas, the Pale Rider

The final game of the day was against Damien’s Salamanders. Damo is a regular in the Melbourne scene, but it’s been a while since we’ve played. I’ve never played against this list either. It is extremely elite, only 11 drops, but they’re all scary. I need to clump up and try not to get anything important double charged. This plan immediately goes wrong and I’m stuck with a big piece of blocking terrain right in my deployment zone.

Moving up Turn 1. Credit: Urr.

There are three tokens clustered on the right, and two on the far left. The split in deployment means I’ve only got a token force of two Scarecrows and one Soulflayer to try to delay Rakawas and the horde of Ceremonial Guard. Everything else, for both players is in the pic above, except you may notice one Clan Lord on Fire Drake is missing. It’s already been shot off. 

Things are going pretty well at the start. One Clan Lord is shot off Turn 1, and one Greater Fire Elemental goes in Turn 2, as we just move into position. One Mind-screech does get Fire Ball’d off, but that’s not a huge deal. Turn 4 is when I jump in. Double Soulflayers go into the remaining Great Fire Elemental, backed up by Esenyshra’s Dread, and I just don’t get it.

Combat begins on the right flank! Credit: Urr.

It’s not the end of the world. One Soulflayers regiment dies to the regular Fire Elementals and the Greater, but the other unit just wavers their adversary. I shoot one of the Fire Elemental hordes, and do a few damage with Wind Blast, and send the Great Fire Elemental straight into Esenyshra for an Enthral into combat. I should be on snakes4 to keep the Great Fire Elemental around after that. 

Unfortunately, it is the end of the world now. 

The Elemental horde stays on the board, and, for the first time, Esenyshra fails to get a single wound on the Great Fire Elemental. 5 dice, 3’s and 2’s, and not a single one got through. So I don’t even get to room the nerve for the big guy. And what’s that standing on a hill directly in front of both the survivors? One Ravager unit that will easily go down to both of them. 

The Ravagers on the hill are in imminent danger! Credit: Urr.

Unfortunately, that is what happens. The Ravagers die, the Soulflayers and Phantoms as well. I scrape a little back, shooting off the damaged horde of Fire Elementals, and the Mind-screech bravely sacrifices itself to block the horde of Unblooded. Then Esenyshra and the Phantoms team up against the Great Fire Elemental, and promptly double 1s it, so now it gets to go and waver the Ravagers. The Terror is also killed here, after failing to do much of anything all game.

Less and less Nightstalkers on the battlefield… Credit: Urr.

The rest of the game is clean up for Damo. If it ended on Turn 6, I could have been ok, with a 2-0 loss, and a few attrition points left on the board. As it was, the game went to Turn 7. Damo killed everything but the Banshee, and held 4 out of the 5 tokens. 

Ah, so this was a bit of an annoying loss for me. Esenyshra flubbing her combat against the Greater Fire Elemental just put me in a spiral. This army is very fragile once it gets hit by anything with Crushing Strength, especially if it has Vicious, too. Damo played it very well though, and was ready to dominate on the left, so I would have had to grab the three right tokens for the win anyway, so there’s no guarantee he wouldn’t have won anyway.

Damo would eventually finish second at the event. I’ll claim some credit for springboarding him there.

Mostly Victorious End of Day 1

That’s the end of Day 1. I’m 2-1, with the best starting record I’ve ever had, and my only loss so far had been winnable, and closer than the scoreboard suggested, so I’m very happy with that. I’m hoping for (at least) one more win on Day 2 to keep the ratio positive.

So come back next time and see how it went!


1 – Boxcars: the rolling of double 6’s on a Nerve test, often to devastating result.

2 – Submarining: the “strategy” of losing one’s first game to then take on “easier” opponents and dodge the “better” ones.

3 – Double 1s: the rolling of double 1’s on a Nerve test, meaning a unit survives regardless of damage!

4 – To be “on snakes”: a unit is so damaged that only Double 1s (see above) can save them. Consider the odds of rolling Double 1s in such situations 1 in 5 despite what probability dictates.


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