Kings of War: Post-tournament army analysis

G’day Goonhammer readers! Having finished our recap of ConVic 2022, it is time to critically assess the army lists we took. We’ll explore what changes we feel are needed, but also how we can improve our own gameplay – winning is not just about the lists, after all. We had heaps of playtesting leading up to the tournament, and seven incredible games over that ConVic weekend to inform our opinions. Let’s see where we can go from here!

Urr’s Varangur

1 x Draugr (Horde)
1 x Reaver (Troop) with Skirmishers Boots
1 x Huscarls (Regiment) with Mead of Madness
1 x Fallen (Horde) with Blessing of the Gods
1 x Fallen (Horde) with Brew of Strength
2 x Snow Foxes (Regiments)
2 x Magus Conclave upgraded with Famulus (Elite)
1 x Lord with Banner of Abbetshire, Brand of the Warrior (Brutal), Snow Fox
1 x Lord on Frostfang with Blade of Slashing, Snow Fox
1 x Magnilde of the Fallen

Urr’s Aztec-themed Varangur!

So, as you’ll have read, I finished pretty well at ConVic, winning four games, losing two and drawing one, which is a solid record that I’m very happy with. Overall, the lists performed mostly how I wanted, and baring a complete dicing in the first game, they held up well against all opponents.

So, what did and didn’t work out?

The Walking (Running) Dead

Urr’s Aztec Draugr.

Big blocks of nerve are always handy, and when that block of nerve comes with Iron Resolve, Unit Strength 3, is fearless (no Waver stat), and comes in at only 125 points for a horde, you’ve got a good unit. The Draugr were very handy across all games. Getting all up in the Ogre’s grills, and generally being a nice roadblock for other armies to wail on. The low Defence means they got shot off a few times, but I’d much rather have these guys taking the bullets than anything else, so they are sticking around. There’s a toss up on whether they should be in regiments or hordes and I’ll be playing around with them to get a feel for my preference. It also depends on the scenarios played, as hordes can make good token carriers, but there wasn’t a whole lot of that in this event.

Urr’s mummified Ogre-like Fallen.

The undeadish unit, the Fallen, were excellent in most games. They fell victim to some hot rolls a few times, but that’s dice games, so I can’t hold that against them. They provide the real hitting power in the list. They do need their power-enhancing items however, making them pretty expensive. They struggle against Defence 6+, but anything Defence 4+ or lower goes down hard. Their built in Nimble and Pathfinder are excellent, so while they lack the built in hitting power of Mounted Sons or Frostfang Cavalry, they make up for it with speed and flexibility, which has been handy in every game I’ve ever played with them. Plus, I love the models, so they are definitely staying, and keeping their, in my opinion, necessary items.


The Reavers were a mixed bag. On occasion, they’d just hammer through whatever they hit, but they also managed to bounce off the Crocodog Wranglers. They also pulled me the draw against Tucky, I guess that’s the swingy nature of hitting on 4’s. They did also work as a piece I didn’t mind throwing away if they didn’t get the kill on the charge.

I’m of two minds about these guys. They also don’t quite match the aesthetic of the army when It’s just one unit, and I do wonder if that lost me some theme points. But another troop with the hero could fix that, and there’s not much that a Regiment with Bane Chant doesn’t scare, so they’ll probably show up again in a list at some point.

Now there’s a bit to say about the Huscarls. These guys were the big disappointment of the tournament for me. They constantly seemed to be Wavered or taken off in one go. Don’t get me wrong, they did manage to do some work in a couple of games, but it was an uphill struggle to get them in any sort of spot where they would be effective.

Urr’s Clansmen might be a better use of the models than Huscarls.

This was a big shame, as I even wore a leopard print hoodie to the event to match them. But they were Wavered and then destroyed in in the first game (by just a regiment of Trolls no less). Solid in game two.  Game Three, it was their threat projection. They only actually managed to get into combat with one Ogre Warrior regiment throughout the whole game. Though they did kill that at least. They were good again in Game Four, wavered and killed without achieving anything in Game Five, wavered on a potentially critical turn in Game Six (but the Reavers saved that draw) and died after being stuck behind Wavered Snow Foxes in Game Seven. When you write it out there’s not a whole lot of good there, and most of the good stuff comes down to threat projection, rather than their killing power.

I think the Huscarls do better in a Northern Alliance list, where you can get Rally and Heal to keep them around as they march forward. Nevertheless, the models will probably still make it into the army as Clansmen, as they are too cool to leave at home. 

What does the Fox say?

Not a whole lot, it turns out. They are pretty much the perfect chaff for any of the faster units. Speed 8 and Nimble gets them out of the way, or in it, if that’s what’s needed. They do die to a stiff breeze but Stealthy helps mitigate that. I still made a few mistakes with them, throwing them away when I didn’t need to, but I just have to keep practicing.

I cast Magic Missiles

There’s a lot of good in the Magus Conclaves. They ended up being very handy, having some range to force engagements is necessary to getting the game going, and they do it pretty well. 

Urr’s Magus Conclaves doing all kinds of ranged damage.

The event’s special rule to move a piece of terrain before deployment often meant that they managed to get on a hill first turn, and could pick whatever target they chose from there. But being able to move a War Engine and still fire effectively (or at all) was extremely useful, as they were also used as blocking pieces in desperation plays, something the regular Magus does not do well at.

They were good for clearing off chaff, and for putting the hurt on anything Defence Four or less, like some Salamander Tyrants. They did do some work into less than ideal targets, too, like one of several flavours of Knights in Tucky’s Green Lady list. I think you stick with two, though I do wonder about three. I wouldn’t take just one, as they did let me down when I only had one left.

Holding out for a Hero

This collection of hero’s seems about right. It gives a good spread of Inspiring, a fair bit of punch and some speed as well. I’ve since tried it without Magnilde, but just having two Inspiring sources, even Very Inspiring, isn’t enough, especially as you want them to be able to take fights as needed. And take fights they can. Double charging with one of them and almost anything else (sorry Draugr) has a solid chance at taking off most regiments. These guys will all stick around, though their items might change, depending on what happens in the Big Red Book (Hint hint).

Where to now?

So what are my new options? I like having a speedy and hard hitting army, even if a little elite and low Unit Strength. Does the number of units matter if you kill everything?

By dropping the Huscarls and Reavers, I’ve got 385 extra points to play with, give or take a few low cost items. And guess what? A regiment of Clansmen and a Horde of Frostfangs is 385 points! I’ve got some nice feathered serpent dragon sort of models lined up for that. I’ve also got plans for a Lord on Chimera, a Jabberwock, a Cavern Dweller, a Cursed Son, Kruufnir and .. and… and… It just keeps going. So lots of fun stuff in the works, especially with Legendary Battles on the way, but we’ll have to wait on points changes to settle on something.   

Cytoplasm’s Goblins

3 x Trolls (Horde)
2 x Rabble (Horde)
2 x Big Rocks Throwers
1 x King with Sacred Horn and Jareth’s Pendant
1 x King upgraded to Groany Snark
1 x Grupp Longnail
1 x Troll Bruiser with Staying Stone
1 x Winggit
– Gorp’s Explodo’matic Bangstiks–
1 x Fleabag Riders (Regiment) with Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
1 x Fleabag Riders (Regiment)
1 x King on Fleabag

Cytoplasm’s Goblins!

This is only the 1995 points list, but is very similar to the 2300 points force in which an extra Winggit, Blaster and a troop of Nimble Luggits were added. I went 1 win and 3 losses with the 1995 points list, and with the 2300 points army 1 win, 1 loss and 1 draw. Slightly below my aspirations for 3 wins over the course of the weekend. Let’s break down what worked, and what didn’t.

Nimble Scoring for the Win

Easily the best change to the list was the introduction of Nimble scoring units. These are usually small units with Nimble and at least Unit Strength 1, so in my case the Winggit and Troll Bruiser. These have their own purposes, such as shooting, combat or being chaff, but their ultimate worth is the ability to play the scenario much easier than a typical regiment or horde.

Cytoplasm’s Troll Bruiser (photo credit: Matt Sellick).

Earlier iterations of my army lists included many more individuals such as a Wiz with Bane Chant, a Banggit and Magwa and Jo’os. These are all very useful to have, but when the scenario needs winning and most of my units are not that manoeuvrable, the list cannot do without some Nimble scoring units.

For those new to Kings of War, these units are great for getting around the board relatively quickly (particularly the Winggit with Speed 10). This means there’s no problem getting to that distant objective or control zone, either early in the game to secure your position, or right at the end in a desperate attempt to snatch victory. The best lists always have at least a few such units included.

Of course, this requires the general (me) to remember the purpose of these units, which sometimes gets forgotten in the heat of battle. The Winggit might have saved my Bangstiks from a flank attack, but then I had nothing to score the leftmost objective.

The Exploded Bangstiks

There is no doubt in my mind that the Goblin formation is incredibly fun and extremely powerful. It is also clear that this state of affairs exists only for about 1.5 turns of the game, after which the Fleabag Riders are usually so damaged by their own effect (1 damage per roll of 6 to hit), that they fail to have any further impact on the game. They are either shot off, or killed by their target unit if it somehow survives.

This is actually very balanced, and a perfect kind of unit. The downside isn’t the unit itself, but how it functions in an army that wants to win a scenario. The Bangstik formation represents unit strength that will not survive the game, and therefore will not be contributing to the scenario win condition. Therefore the list needs to take that into account when using them.

Cytoplasm’s Explodo’matic Bangstiks (photo credit: Matt Sellick).

I did not.

My army at the time of deployment has 23 Unit Strength. Halfway through the game the Bangstiks are gone, leaving it up to the remaining 17 Unit Strength to see me through to victory. Unfortunately, my Rabble hordes are very often the breaker for my Trolls, so in reality it’s just my Trolls at the end. This did work in some cases, but it makes winning the scenario an uphill battle.

Still, it will be hard to not use the Bangstiks as they are just so much fun.

Snark Industries

There is no argument that Groany Snark is a great individual; 5 attacks with Crushing Strength 1 and Thunderous Charge 2, with Blast (D3) on a flying, Speed 10 hero is incredible. His only limitation is Melee 4+, which is just as well as he would be truly broken. However, it meant that sometimes he would fail to kill a Dwarf Army Standard Bearer, and other times do 9 damage to a horde of Frostfangs. It is this factor that can often give opponents pause, and that in itself is valuable.

That said, he technically makes my army illegal, something overlooked by myself, my opponents, and all those who helped me with this list. 

Do you see it? 

Three Kings! 

And not the kind that brought frankincense. No, somehow the King on Fleabag in the formation is literally called King on Fleabag rather than King – mounted on Fleabag. This defies the limit for having three of the same hero for under 2000 points. So, were I to run this list again, Groany wouldn’t be in it. Sorry, Mr. Snark.

Trolling with Trolls

The real meat of this army list are the Trolls. Trolls are great; they pack a punch, they’re durable, they waver. Yes, despite the Headstrong aura, my beloved Trolls would waver at the most crucial points. The pain train would grind to a halt and I would simply have to wait for my army to start working again if it survived.

Cytoplasm’s Trolls (photo credit: Matt Sellick).

The Melee 4+ on 18 attacks is also hard to get past. Very quickly I learnt that these Trolls had to avoid difficult terrain, which is doable if I had less Trolls. With so many they nearly always ended up in some terrain, waving their arms uselessly then getting countercharged into the underbrush.

The simple solution is less Trolls. If I run just 1 or 2 hordes of Trolls, I can just give them waver mitigation items such as Chalice of Wrath or Dwarven Ale. I can change up my source of Inspiring to something more useful like another Troll Bruiser, and if I am feeling particularly crazy one horde could be upgraded with Det’ Packs.

Bringing Artillery to Bear

We all know the risks of bringing artillery such as the Big Rocks Throwers. That Range 5+ means in some games they never make their points back and other games they positively (throw) rock! The Winggit marginally improves their accuracy, but often this would encourage me to use the Winggit in a way that was at odds with scenario objectives.

Ultimately, the question is, if not Big Rocks Throwers, then what else? In a Goblin army, this can be a lot; another horde of Rabble, two regiments of Rabble, or even some Mincers! All scoring units, which if I feel compelled to keep bringing Bangstiks, I better include more of.

The Future of Cytoplasm’s Goblins

There’s plenty to improve upon in this list; removing the Big Rocks Throwers, dropping a horde of Trolls or two, as well as Groany Snark will open up a lot of points. To improve Unit Strength, Rabble regiments would be ideal. These can truly sit back on objectives, as they are so cheap. For alternative armour piercing units, I can go with Mincer Mobs, which are great because they are fearless and very tough. Alternatively, Mawbeast Packs could be interesting. Not quite as strong and definitely not as durable, but very cheap and Nimble to boot.

Cytoplasm’s Rabble (photo credit: Matt Sellick).

This won’t be for a little while though. I am taking a break from Goblins and am finally jumping in on the CounterCharge Podcast’s Mantic Army Challenge (4 months late!) with some Trident Realms. I’ll post about these as they shape up, using all Mantic models even for Placoderms.

What’s next?

The coverage of ConVic and the evolution of our armies is for now at a close. We hope you enjoyed all that we have shared, and we are excited to bring these armies back as we work on them (in secret!). For now, Clash of Kings season is upon us; a new book, new models, and whole new ways to play Kings of War. We will be sharing our favourite bits of the new book over the coming weeks, so look out for those articles in the very near future.

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