Battle of Briar Village
By Neldoreth
March 30th, 2011

The Kings of War rule set has quickly become the go-to rule set around here. It's fast and simple to play, but offers a tactically interesting and complex game; it gets rid of all the fiddly bits but none of the satisfaction! As such, I've been playing my fair share of the game and enjoying it. Below is a battle that pits the Undead against the Reptilemen; the undead list comes from Mantic Games while the Reptilemen list is one I've put together myself with the help of my buddy over at WWaSP. But, let's get on with the battle!

The Vampiress mustered her forces on the edges of the Rim Empire with cold vengeance in her heart. She planned to bring cold death to the kings of that bloody and brutal empire! The peace of death was better than they deserved. But to her surprise, it was not yet to be!

Slithering from the heat of the southern climes came the reptiles... Large, brooding masses of quick-footed giant lizards came swarming over the hilltops. They destroyed the Vampire Queen's encampment and forced her to retreat from the recently-conquered village of Briar, leaving them to their looting. But it was not long before she brought a great army forth to challenge the invaders from the south...

The positions of the undead and the lizards at the outset of the battle. The poor town of Briar having just been overrun by undead had to bear witness to yet another battle...

As the Vampiress brought her undead hordes over the hill that loomed over the village, the lizards quickly realized that the day would not be won as easily as they thought. Revelling in the terror that her army had inspired, the Vampiress ordered her liche queen and necromancer to lead the bloody dead hordes against the reptiles that were quickly readying to make battle below. As the creak of the undead catapult tore the air and the darts of the reptiles began to buzz like angry wasps, the march to battle began...

The battle came to blows quickly on the flanks as the main lines strove to meet under a hail of blow-darts, javelins, and flaming jack-o-lantern
catapult shots! Note the white and red markers behing some of the units, these denote casualties.

The Velociraptors charge home
against the Revenant Cavalry.

The liche queen screamed for her undead forces to drive towards the reptiles in the middle. Under a hail of javelins and blow-darts, the zombies managed to gain ground, but it came with many casualties. Fortunately for the liche queen, zombies are brainless hordes and were not daunted by their early losses. The Revenants marched along side their zombie accomplices on the right side of the battlefield, but failed to attract the attention of the lizard ranged fire.

On the far right and left flanks, the story unfolded quite differently. The necormancer on the right side of the undead battle line charged her wraiths to sweep forward and destroy the acid-spitting lizard before it could disolve too many of the precious Revenant skeletons before they could charge the lizardmen ranks. The scythes of the wraiths tore the flesh of the acid-spitting Spinosaurus Acidus and it's handlers, but failed to route it from the field of battle.

On the left flank the reptilemen took the initiative. The deadly-accurate flying pteradons and their javelins swept along the edge of the battlefield in an attempt to get a good position to rain destruction down on the undead. But the most bold move had to be the reptile Velociraptor cavalry that charged across the field of battle and engaged the undead Revenant Cavalry regiment. Their ferocious charge caused casualties against the Revenants, but not enough to route them. To help protect and support the revenant cavalry, the skeleton regiment that flanked the zombie horde turned it's flank to the enemy lines and threatened the flank of the Velociraptor cavalry... a bold and perhaps foolish move if the reptiles were able to hit the unit on its flank!

The undead get the advantage on both flanks by routing their respective opponents. The battle comes together in the
middle, where it promises to be bloody... or disty with crushed bone in the case of the undead!

The liche queen screamed triumph as her Revenant cavalry crushed the Velociraptors and drove across the field of battle. Unfortunately a lonely house cut them off from the rest of the battle for at least two turns... If the undead in the middle hold on long enough, the cavalry could deal a deadly flanking blow to the reptile army. On the opposite side, the terrifying wraiths routed the Spinosaurus Acidus not a moment too soon, and were met by the lizard Chieftain!

The battle in the center was finally joined as the horde of rotting zombies charged forth and began to devour the lizardflesh of the Orasaurus warriors. Such was their charge that the Orasaurs were shaken and began to waver in the face of their undead enemy! Along with their zombie compatriots, the Revenant's on foot on the right flank charged screaming into battle with the battered Croc unit, inflicting yet more casualties on it, but failing to route or waver it.

Despite the apparent success of the undead hordes, the reptile Pterasaurs laced their way behind the undead lines and began the relentless showering of javelins down on whoever they pleased. Fortunately for the undead, they could not break and route any of the mindless undead units.

As the battle intensified the undead took advantage of their control of the flanks. On the left the Revenant Cavalry smashed a skink unit with a flank charge, while on the right the wraiths and Revenants routed the lizard chief and the Crocs. But in the middle the lizards gained the upper hand, routing the undead skeleton unit.

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Forward was the command issued on both sides of the battlefield. As the undead in the center clashed with the lizard for dominance of the battlefield, the undead exploited their advantage on the flanks. With their swift move down the left flank, the Revenant cavalry cleared the house and charged down, their bones whistling with their speed, and crushed a unit of skinks with a flank charge. The skinks routed from the field, leaving the Orasaurs alone in the center.

Meanwhile, on the right flank the wraiths bewildered and defeated the lizard chieftain, forcing him to flee the field. The wraiths, still hungry for the life of the living, reformed to ready themselves to feast on the spear-armed Orasaurs. At the same time, the Necromancer drove the Revenents into the battered Croc unit. Their lifeless ferocity was too much for the crocs, and they were routed.

The liche queen began to imagine the praise that her Vampire overlord would shower on her once the lizards were defeated. She revelled in the thought of it, but it was too soon. Right in front of her, a hail of deadly darts showered into her skeleton regiment, splintering many of them to dust and ash. Although the skeletons stood firm, they would not stand against the charging Crocs and chameleons. As more and more of them were crushed in battle, their magical link to the world was severed, and they fell to thr ground as the bones that they were... And still the javelins of the Pteradons rained down...

With the undead controlling the flanks, the lizards could do little to stay in control. On the left, the liche queen's attacks and the ferocious charge of the Revenant cavarly routed the Crocs and chameleons. On the right, the combined attacks of the Revenants and wraiths routed the spear-armed Orasaurs, and the determined Orasaurs in the middle finally succombed to their casualties.

The lizards screamed war and death for one last charge against the lines of the undead, but it wasn't to be. Despite the crocs and chameleons breaking through on the left flank, threatening the zombie regiment with a flank charge, they were not able to make it into melee before the combined effort of the Liche Queen and the catapult smashed their ranks and routed them.

As the Crocs were battling the ranged fire, the chameleons with them turned and shot poisoned darts into the ranks of the Revenant cavalry that was bearing down on them. Alas it wasn't enough, and the cavalry trampled many of the chameleons and routed the rest.

On the right, the regiment of Orasaur warriors could not stand against the combined charges of the Revenants to the front and the wraiths to the flank. They fought viciously, but in the end they broke and fled. Finally, the determined Orasaur unit in the center that defied the zombies could no longer stand; with the loss of their compatriots, their determination fled and they were routed.

The lich queen finally allowed herself to indulge in the fantasies of praise that she would recieve for the victory! Just as she turned to make way back to her Vmapiress overlord, she say the Pteradons bearing down on her as they retreated. She attempted to conjure a defense, but she could not do it in time to save herself from the piercing attacks of their many javelins... For now, the undead had won the day, but the reptiles would return...

Aftermath...

Overall, it was a very enjoyable game. I think myself and my opponent are really just starting to get to grips with the tactical components of the game and the nuances of the list. I think that some of the movement rules, such as being able to charge through and sit on top of most terrain (like fences) was something we forgot, otherwise I think that the undead would have had a bit more trouble. Also, just getting the forces into a proper line to allow for efficient charging was also somewhat of a challenge at times... It's something we'll learn as we play more I think.

Also, I was a little concerned about the points value of the Pteradons; they sat in the back, unmolested for the whole game and couldn't really decisively route any units. After talking though, we weren't sure if this was because they didn't concentrate their fire or not... The unit is a tough one to play well though, so perhaps it will eventually need a points update... Still, it was a lot of fun, and I look forward to many more games to come!