Saturday, 13 May 2017

Battle Report 1: Orcs vs Ratkin 13/05/2017

Hi everyone, this is the first of hopefully a series of Kings of War battle reports I'll be doing.

I had the pleasure of facing Pete, a.k.a. Seerlord Morskitta's newly re-based Ratkin army in two games on the weekend. This is the first time I've faced Ratkin, but I've faced the Pete's herd regularly and have lost every time, so this wasn't going to be an easy game! For me this was a chance to get more practice with my orcs before a local tournament and for my opponent it was a chance to play an army they haven't played much recently.

This is my first experience of doing a battle report, and my first time doing a blog, so any feedback is welcome! I've based the format on Swordmaster of Hoeth's reports simply because I love reading them and think the world needs more. I'm also fairly new to the game so point out mistakes :)

Ax Horde, Blood of the Old King 205
  - Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
  - Wardrum 80
  - Skulk Troop 75
Ax Horde 205
  - Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100 
  - Giant 190

Morax Regiment, Brew of Sharpness 245
 - Flagger, Banner of the Griffin 70

Gore Rider Regiment 185
 - Flagger, mounted on Gore  65

Gore Rider Regiment 185
Troll Horde* 190
Orcling Horde* 90 

Shock Troop Horde 230
  - Weapon Team, storm of lead 80
  - Death Engine, vile sorcery 210
  - Warlock, banechant, Inspiring Talisman 130

Shock Troop Horde  230
  - Weapon Team, storm of lead 80
  - Death Engine, vile sorcery 210
  - Swarm Crier Lute of Insatiable Darkness 65

Blight Horde 205
  - Demonspawn, wings 340

Tunnel Slave Horde* 100
Tunnel Slave Regiment* 60
Tunnel Slave Regiment* 60 
Mission and Terrain
We rolled up scour from the CoK book, and had 6 tokens. The Pete placed his three tokens on the smaller front to the left of the ruins, and I placed mine on the right. I was trying to make sure that the tokens were fairly spread out in order to minimise the effectiveness of the rats' Rally! benefit.
After placing tokens we rolled off and the Ratkin chose sides.

I didn't record the exact order of deployment but roughly he placed his slaves, then his Shocktroops and warmachines and leaving the Blight and Demonspawn until last.

The rats set up in two waves, the first consisting of the slave chaff with the Death Engines and Shock Troops as follow up units. Whilst the Blight was the only unit on the left flank, the Demonspawn's placement in the middle of the board allowed it to either support them or to join the main engagement on the right.

I first placed my Ax hordes and Morax behind the Skulks and Orcling chaff and supported by the Wardrum and Godspeakers in the center.

Two regiments of Gore Riders were placed on the far right flank, one behind another. The plan was to flank the ratkin hordes and hopefully get some nice flank charges against the Death Engines.

I left my Giant, Trolls and mounted Flagger until last and placed them behind the obstacles to the left of the ruins. This is a battle group and tactic that I'd used successfully before, both units are tough and hard to remove, especially with hindered charges and the Giant's strider allows it to engage without being hindered.

Overall I was pretty happy with my deployment - I thought the Giant and Trolls could hold that flank until turn 5 and the forest in the middle of the table would screen my units from his shooting.

I won the roll of for turns, and chose to go second.
The Skulks were vanguarded up 6"
The Ratkin begin their movement

Turn 1 Ratkin

The waves of rats advanced down the center, keeping their formation as they did so. On the left the blight turned toward the two objectives on the hill as the Demonspawn flew around the ruins toward the Giant and Trolls.

Turn 1 Orcs
The Orc infantry moved up toward the forest and the Gore Riders began to run up the right flank. The Giant and Trolls moved up to the obstacle with the trolls moving on top of the objective just in case they needed to destroy it.
The Skulks shot over the slaves against the first Death Engine and put a couple of wounds on it but it'll take much more to worry the massive warmachine.

Turn 2 Ratkin
The rats continued their advance. The Tunnel Slaves were whipped into charging the Skulks as the right wing of the Shock Troops and the Death Engines turned to face the flanking Gore Riders.

The Tunnel Slave horde moved up to the forest and turned slightly to screen the more valuable units behind them.

The warlock and weapons teams also moved up to take up positions and provide fire-support in the middle of the line.

On the left flank the Blight took up position on the hill whilst the Demonspawn leaped over the Giant and Trolls and threatened the flank of the orc infantry!

The Death Engines opened fire against the lead Gore Riders doing 8 wounds and wavering them.
In the center the Tunnel Slaves inflicted the first casualties on the orcs, destroying the Skulks and bracing themselves for the counter-attack.
The Ratkin advance

Turn 2 Orcs
That could have gone better for the orcs - I was a bit annoyed that I didn't see the Demonspawn jumping over the left flank (I think this was my inexperience against flyers coming through).
The Gore Riders on the right wavering blocked the second unit. Thankfully there was enough space to reform them out of the way and the Gore Rider and Orclings charged through the forest against the horde of Tunnel Slaves managing to waver them.

Most of the orc movement was reacting to the unexpected Dmonspawn on the flank: the Morax shuffled to the left to protect the flank of the Ax-horde (I don't think they actually moved backward as well!), and the Trolls turned to add their support. Meanwhile the Wardrum and Flagger moved up to tuck behind the Ax-horde and prevent a charge from the Demonspawn. The Flagger turned to put the Demonspawn in his front arc and preventing a charge.

Expecting to die next turn, the left Ax horde drank the Blood of the Old king and broke the regiment of Tunnel Slaves, and reformed to further protect the Flagger and Wardrum.

Turn 3 Ratkin
The Shock Troops and second slave regiment charged the Ax horde. However the Warlock failed to banechant the Shock Troops and the resulting 10 damage was not enough to worry a horde of orcs!
The Demonspawn, believing the Ax horde would break flew out of the Morax's charge arc and threatened the orcs' supporting units.

Things went better for the ratkin on the right, with the Death Engines and Weapons Team gunning down the last of the Gore Riders. The other weapons team opened fire on the Orclings but could only put a couple of points of damage on them.

The Demonspawn lands behind the orc lines

Turn 3 Orcs
The Orcs breathed a massive sigh of relief that the Demonspawn didn't charge the Ax horde. The Axs and Moraxs charged into the Shock Troops and broke them. To their right the Orclings corkscrewed into the slaves regiment and, despite being hindered did enough to break the cowardly slaves. The Gore Riders completed the destruction of the Ratkin front line by running down the wavering slave horde.
Behind them the Wardrum turned to face the Demonspawn as the Godspeakers lobbed fireballs at the monstrosity doing 6 points of damage.
The second Ax horde repositioned to also threaten the Demonspawn.
The mounted Flagger and Trolls continued their reinforcement of the center.

The Ratkin lines begin to break

Turn 4 Ratkin
The Ratkin's position was shaky but they weren't out of it yet. The Shock Troops double-timed out of sight of the Orc hordes as the Death Engines and Weapons Teams re-positioned to avoid the hordes. The combined fire of the warmachines was enough to route the second unit of Gore Riders.
The Demonspawn decided that it didn't like being surrounded by orcs and flew back over to threaten the Giant's exposed flank.

Turn 4 Orcs
The orcs had no charges, so they reformed their lines to face the warmachines.
On the left the Flagger cajoled the Trolls into turning back around to continue chasing the Demonspawn, and the Giant turned to face it. 

Turn 5 Ratkin
The Shock Troops reformed as the Death Engines and Weapons Teams fired into the forest. The combined fire was enough to waver the Orclings.

The Demonspawn continued to fly over the battlefield, moving to threaten a flank charge against any orcs who tried to claim the center objective. The Blight also reformed to claim both objectives on the left hill, putting the Ratkin in the lead.

Turn 5 Orcs
The bulk of the rats was still out of range of the orc infantry so the second Ax horde settled with slaughtering the Weapons Team as the rest advanced onto the objectives.

The Godspeakers also threw fireballs over the Orclings and managed to break the second Weapons Team!

On the left the Giant and Trolls began to advance toward the Blight.

Turn 6 Ratkin
The overconfident orcs had cornered the Ratkin. The rats responded as expected, with the Shock Troops and one of the Death Engines charging the second Ax horde. The Swarm Crier was able to banechant the Shock Troops and the combined charge crushed the orcs and they reformed to face the second horde.

The other Death Engine and Warlock opened fire on the surviving Orclings annihilating them.
On the left the Demonspawn flew back over the Trolls to deny them that objective.

Turn 6 Orcs
 The Ax horde again repositioned to face the rats as the Wardrum and Flagger retreated from the crumbling right flank. The Godspeakers healed 5 wounds the Ax horde, giving them a fighting chance against the Death Engines.

On the left the Trolls continued to chase the Demonspawn as the Giant moved into the forest to contest one of the objectives the Blight held.

At this point the orcs and the ratkin held two objectives each, with the two others contested... we rolled and there was to be a seventh turn, giving both sides one last chance to claim victory!

Turn 7 Ratkin
The Demonspawn flew up behind the Giant and to again avoid the Trolls. On the left the Death Engines turned and rolled forward slightly to contest the objective.

At this point we had a long discussion about whether the Ax horde (height 1), would provide cover for the Morax (height 1) against the Death Engines (height 4). Going on both the gamers' and hardback rulebook we tentatively decided that they did and so the Death Engines and Warlock fired at the Ax horde. Unfortunately the unreliable Death Engines only managed to fire 16 shots between them and failed to concern the Ax horde!

However my opponent later checked the FAQ and he was right, this had been errata'd so the Ax horde wouldn't have provided cover. Fortunately the shooting wouldn't have been enough to break the Morax anyway.

Turn 7 Orcs
The Ratkin had failed to claim victory and now the orcs had one last, narrow chance to do so, either by breaking one of the Death Engines with the Ax horde and the other with fireballs, or breaking the Blight with the Giant (he would have still been in-range to contest the other objective).

The Ax tried first, throwing themselves into the forest against the first Death Engine as the Godspeakers fired at the second. Neither group of orcs could do more than scratch the giant wheels, leaving it up to the Giant.

The Giant managed to get 22 attacks against the blight and, as he was in their flank ensnare had no effect. I rolled well for both the damage and nerve check and so broke the Blight and giving the orcs a narrowest of victories.

The Ax horde fails to break a Death Engine
After-battle thoughts
So there you have it, the orcs scrape a narrow victory on the 7th turn holding 2 objectives to 1. Tallying up the points, the orcs had 1215 left and the ratkin had 1185, which shows how close it was.

I really enjoyed this game and thanks to the Pete for having me round. The rats got their revenge in the rematch, utterly crushing the orcs in 6 turns (sadly I don't have enough photos to make a report of the second game).

Pete's Ratkin are beautifully painted and fun to play against as orcs. The two armies are quite similar, with large hordes in tight formations and slow, but fairly dangerous chaff. The rats shooting is the obvious difference between the armies, and Death Engines can put out a large amount of damage as well as being really hard to remove.

As Pete noted, not charging the Demonspawn into the Ax horde on turn 3 was an uncharacteristic mistake on his behalf. I hadn't notice at the time, but the Demonspawn never charged, meaning that the rats had 340 points (545 including the Blight) only being threatening rather than having a more comprehensive impact. Pete thought later that the Demonspawn could have survived the charge of the Morax horde had it charged the Ax. I'm not sure, banechanted the Moraxs would have had 25 attacks hitting on 2+ and wounding on 3+, giving an average of 14 wounds, meaning that I would have needed 5 twice to break the Demonspawn. So maybe it was the right decision. Either way hindsight is 20/20.

As for my army, I'm very happy with how its coming along - Morax with the Brew of Sharpness are lethal, and Ax hordes with Godspeakers, Wardrum and the Banner of the Griffin form a really hard to break center. The Orclings and Godspeakers excelled as usual.

I'm less impressed with my cavalry, although I think this could be down to how I use them. I have tried running a Flagger (with the banner) with them but generally they just break quickly and have little impact. I'm considering swapping one of the regiments for another Orcling horde and Skulk troop at some point.

The Giant, Troll and Flagger flank worked well again. Even though the Trolls didn't get into combat (and the Giant only on turn 7), they stopped a couple of charges from the Demonspawn, and claimed objectives. So I feel they earned their points back.

Thanks for reading, next Sunday I'll write up a report or two from the Warlords Super Series Tournament.


  1. Great game and fantastic report! It is always the best to have nice pictures of painted armies on a wonderful table and Battle Chronicler to back them up int the report.

    Thanks a lot for taking time to prepare it. Congratulations on the victory! :)

    1. Totally agree with battle chronicler, I was surprised how easy it was to use :)

  2. Great batrep and i look forward to more. Especially useful as i'm now assembling my orc army! :)