Sunday 20 September 2020

Kings of War V3: Forces of Nature vs Dwarves

I've been playing some more games of Kings of War recently, with the release of the 3rd edition of these rules.  I started with 2nd edition a few years ago (see this past game and rules review). Third edition tidies up and balances the rules even further, also adding a few new armies, spells, items and play options.

I've liked 3rd edition Kings of War so much in fact, that I have  built a new 'Forces of Nature' army for it! The models were purchased mostly brand new from Mantic, though I've added a few other brands I liked the look of.  I brought this army along to the local Wargames Club today for its first outing against Martin's Dwarf Army.

My Forces of Nature list was:
  • Avatar of the Green Lady
  • Druid with Bane Chant, Surge and Conjuror's Staff
  • 2x Tree Herder
  • 2x Pegasus (using Giant Eagles for these)
  • 1x Greater Earth Elemental
  • 1x Earth Elemental Horde
  • 2x Forest Shambler Hordes
  • 1x Hunters of Wild Regiment, Hammer of Measured Force
Martin's Dwarf list was:
  • Lord, with Diadem of Dragonkind
  • Army Standard Bearer, with Shroud of the Saint
  • Flame Priest, with extra Fireball 
  • 2x Ranger Regiments
  • 1x Ironwatch Rifles Horde
  • 1x Shieldbreakers Horde, with Hann's Sanguinary Scripture
  • 4x Ironclad Horde
  • 1x Ironbelcher Organ Gun

The Game

The Scenario was "Salt the Earth" - with seven objectives on the table, and whoever controls more at the end of the games wins - nice and simple. However, the twist is that you can also destroy an objective at the end of your movement if you control it, but don't think you'll be able to keep it and want to deny it to the enemy!

Below is first turn - my Forest Shamblers and an Eagle on the left charge up and rout a Dwarf Ranger unit (the other Ranger unit is just off screen to the left). The rest of my forces have advanced up the table, mainly on the right against all the Dwarven heavy infantry. Opposing my left is the the Dwarven gunpowder - Rifles and Organ Gun, which with their Piercing ability they have some good targets in the slow moving Greater Earth Elemental and Treeherder!

View from the Dwarf side.

The Dwarves are out of charge range in their turn, but get ready to receive the oncoming charge.

My units crash into the Dwarven line and start to grind into them, but the Dwarves are tough and stubborn and give as good as they get!

Over on the left I finish off the other Ranger unit. My Treeherder and Greater Earth Elemental struggle into a hail of lead and fire from the Dwarven shooting units!

The Greater Earth Elemental charges in, but is already seriously wounded by the time it gets there. The Green Lady flies around choosing "Cloak of Death" to damage enemies near her, while healing friendly units.  Radiance of Life from the Treeherders also helps keep the Nature units in the fight.

The Dwarves are fighting back hard and Headstrong ability sees them shrug off two wavering results and countercharge back into the fight! 

Rules Note: See the wound dice on units - in Kings of War all units are basically treated like a multiwound monster and you don't remove any figures until they are dead - which saves a lot of time in game setup and play. When you damage a unit you roll two six sided dice plus the number of wounds on the unit, and if you beat its "Nerve" value it is routed (removed from play). Most of my main units have a Nerve of 18, while the big Dwarf units have a Nerve of 23.

Two Dwarf Ironcloud Hordes rout, but the Dwarfs rout my Hunters of the Wild and Greater Earth Elemental. 

The Shield breakers smash up and destroy my Earth Elementals, but have taken much damage from them and are in turn routed by a charge from my Treeherder. The last Ironclad unit is wiped out by my other Treeherder and a rear charge from my Forest Shamblers 

Rules Note: Flank and rear charges are deadly. With flank charges you roll double attacks, and rear charges triple attacks!

A last act -  the Dwarf Lord charge into the remaining Forest Shamblers, but they withstand the asault!

And the game is over.  I hold four objectives and the Dwarfs only one, so a victory to the Nature army! We didn't burn any of the objectives in the game, though there was not great opportunity or motivation to do so for most of it I think. 
I had my Treeherders, Eagles, one Forest Shambler unit and my Heroes left.
Dwarves had Ironwatch Rifles, Organ Gun and Heroes left.


A fun game, that played smoothly and quickly despite us having to familiarise ourself with new armies  and rules.  Martin was also very generous in pointing out my glaring tactical errors and suggesting better moves (like making sure my spellcasters could see their targets!).  Without his help I would surely have been defeated I think! At the end of the game we also discovered a rules mistake or two we had made, which we will remember for the next game.

I'm looking forward to a rematch, and I heartily recommend Kings of War. The ruleset now being in its 3rd edition with only minor change to the core rules, is far cleaner and more balanced than most rulesets. Also much cheaper for both rules and figures, and you can use any fantasy figures  (and don't have to have exact numbers of figures on a base either), so bar to entry is nice and low! 

Lastly, here's a few better quality pictures of my forces of Nature army.

Druid, Avatar of the Green Lady, Gladewalker Druid


Greater Earth Elemental

Forest Shamblers

Earth Elementals

Plus some Kings of War Battlefield objectives I've recently painted up!