Battle Report : Kill - Ratkin v. The Brotherhood

We did a playtest battle of Ratkin v The Brotherhood (1000 pts, Kill scenario).

Josh is just getting into Kings of War.  I tried to get him to play a couple of years ago, but that was when he was living in a house with four other Warhammer players, and they had two tables in their basement for games.

Now that WFB is no longer supported by GW, we are starting to get him interested in Kings of War.  His first tried it at Origins, and I think we are getting him hooked.  It is interesting as his two WFB armies are Skaven and Bretonians - so it was fitting that we played Ratmen v. The Brotherhood.

Josh brought his box of Bretonians and hand made a 1000 pt list.  Unfortunately I did not review his list for him before the game, so he didn't realize you could only take one artifact per unit - thus he ended up being 35 pts short (since he could take both the Pipes of Terror and Diadem of Dragonkind on his spearmen)
The Brotherhood - 965 pts
- Villein Spearmen Regiment (bowmen proxy)
   - Pipes of Terror

- Order of the Brotherhood Regiment
  - Brew of Strength

- Order of the Brotherhood Horde
  - Chant of Hate

- Villein Siege Artillery

- Villein Siege Artillery

I took a Ratkin list that I'm building to use as a ringer army at the upcoming Legendary Game Faire III on October 16th.
Ratkin 1000 pts
- Warriors Horde

- Spear Warriors Horde

- Giant Rats w/ Handlers Regiment (mainly reaper Bones giant rats - wow are they bright white)
  - Brew of Haste

- Brutes

- Blight Lord w/ Bane-chant(3) (actually fully painted)

- War Chief

- Rattlewagon w/ Lightning Bolt(3) (also fully painted except for the base, and the stupid flag that is just too tall for my bin and has broken off twice now)

The Broherhood won the roll for deployment, and Josh decided to take the side with the two hills for his artillery.  I was happy about that, because this gave me the forest and hedge for cover against them (I forget that his artillery was indirect, so cover didn't matter - duh-oh), and to protect me from his Thunderous Charge(2) - which was really scary - especially from the horde of knights.  Luckily I had more drops than he did, so was able to put my spearmen (with phalanx) opposite the horde of knights.  So he had spearmen on hill with artillery, the horde of knights, the regiment of knights and the other artillery piece.

Seriously Josh, this is to show how you deployed (with my son Jon reviewing a Herd list in the background)
 My deployment had the blight lord, rattle wagon, warrior horde and war chief on one flank (facing the regiment of knights), with the spear horde, giant rats and brutes facing the horde of knights.  My plan was to brunt the force of the horde against either my spearmen, or the brutes behind the hedge (sacrificing the giant rats if need be), and then hope the other horde with the rattlewagon and heroes could take the smaller unit.  I also wanted to try to make sure as many units as possible could take advantage of the Rallying(n) rule.  Amazingly (*SPOILERS*) it actually worked out pretty much as planned, but a lot of that was because Josh couldn't roll above a 5 for a nerve check for most of the game.
And the ratkin in all their verminous glory
Turn 1 - Ratkin
All units moved up a bit - the giant rats didn't quite manage to clear the hedge even with the brew of haste.  The blight lord moved around he forest as I finally realized that cover didn't make a bit of difference, and tried to get ready to go and take out the artillery soon.  The warriors and rattlewagon moved up in the woods to protect themselves from the knights thunderous charge.  In the shooting phase, the rattlewagon fired off it's lightning generators at the artillery on the hill, but completely missed as the scurrying rats powering the wheels weren't yet able to get up to speed.

Turn 1 - Brotherhood
Both unit of knights moved forward so they were just within charge range for next turn.  (Josh should have moved them up to just out of the rats range and not just within his, taking advantage of his greater speed).  In his shooting phase the artillery on my right hit the warrior horde for five damage, and the one on the left missed the brutes.

Turn 2 - Ratkin
Because of the brew of haste, the giant rats were able to charge the spearmen, and the brutes moved up to the hedge.  In a previous game they had been routed in a single turn by a knight regiment - I did not want them to face thunderous charge at all.  The spear horde moved back slightly to be just out of charge range of the knights.  On the other flank I did the same with the warriors and the rattlewagon.  The blight lord moved into position to charge the artillery on the next turn.  In the shooting phase, the rattlewagon managed to get at least a few rats up to speed on the lightning generators, causing a wound to the artillery.  I then rolled 11 for the nerve test, and the knights were not in range to provide inspiring, so it was routed.  In melee, the giant rats did three wounds to the spearmen, and with another lucky roll they were wavered.

Ok, so I forgot to take a picture of the first turn.  Not much happened - so here is after the ratkin 2nd turn.
I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted during the game, but then I realized afterward that what I did get was fairly static in the foreground, with the real movement and changes in the back.

Turn 2 - Brotherhood
With both units of knights being out of charge range due to the rats cowardice, they again moved up - this time being just out of the 12" rat charge range, but well within theirs of 16" (having realized his error the previous turn - there was no escaping the charge from them next turn).  The remaining artillery again missed during the shooting phase.

Turn 3 - Ratkin
A quick check of the measuring tape, and the rattlewagon proved to be within charge range of the knight regiment - so took advantage of that even though it meant it was hindered coming out of the woods.  The blight lord also charged them in the flank, since the artillery he was headed after was now gone.  The giant rats again charged the spearmen.  The war chief and warriors move up to make sure the rattlewagon is in range of both his inspiring and their rallying(2).  With no shooting now, the giant rats do another two wounds to the spearmen, again wavering them.  The blight lord whiffed completely, and the rattlewagon only did a single wound (having lost its TC(1) and being -1 to hit from the forest).  The knights of course, didn't care, but they were disordered.

Turn 3 - Brotherhood.
Finally the knights were able to charge, with the horde charging the spear warriors and the regiment counter charging the rattlewagon.  The artillery finally hit the warrior horde, doing another three wounds on them, but they easily passed their nerve check.  In combat, the regiment of knights did 10 wounds on the rattlewagon (the brew of strength really coming in handy here), but then Josh rolled 3 for the nerve check, and it didn't go anywhere.  The horde charging the spearmen also lost their thunderous charge, but still managed to waver the rat horde.  However by not destroying them, they were now in a bad position.

Turn 4 - Ratkin
The giant rats AGAIN charge the spearmen.  The brutes did a flank charge on the knight horde over the hedge, so they were hindered.  At least they had straight crushing strength and no thunderous charge to lose (though only hitting on 5's hurt).  The rattlewagon, war chief and blight lord all charged the regiment of knights, and the warrior horde moved up to make sure that war chief was within range of their rallying.  The giant rats gnawed away at a few more spearmen, and caused them to waver for the third time!  Those pointy sticks were managing to keep the vermin at bay, but their courage was begin to fail as they took more wounds.  The brutes on the flank of the knord (I was going to correct that, but I kind of like that new word for knight horde :-) ) managed to do 8 wounds, but that wasn't nearly enough to rout them with their high nerve value.

Ratkin turn 4 - can't seem to get rid of this man-things.
Turn 4 - Brotherhood.
Both units of knights charge - the knord against the rhord (naw, that doesn't work as well) rat spearmen horde, and the knight regiment against the war chief - hoping to route him and overrun against the rattlewagon.  Unfortunately in the combat phase, Josh rolled horribly, and even with the brew of strength the knights only did two wounds against the war chief, so easily passed his nerve check.  So much for his plans.  On the other side, the knord easily routed the spear-rats, and reformed to face the brutes.

Turn 5 - Ratkin
The brutes charged the knord - again taking the penalty from the hedge because they were not charged in the previous turn.  The giant rats charged the spearmen for the fourth time!  Both heroes and the rattlewagon charged the regiment of knights.  The ensuing combat manages to waver both units of knights (ah, but they have headstrong thinks Josh!), while the giant rats do a few more wounds on the spearmen who now can only survive on snake-eyes - which almost happens, but I get a 3 instead, finally routing them and reforming to face the artillery.

Ratkin turn 5 - really not much has changed except the horde of knights has turned after routing the spear-rat horde.  It took me a minute to make sure this wasn't the same picture as last turn.
Turn 5 - Brotherhood
Ok, this is why knights cost so much - they aren't going to take this wavering crap from a bunch of rats.  Come on headstrong - and Josh fails for both his units.  His artillery piece also fails to hit anything.  He admits the game is over, but we go ahead and play it out.

Turn 6 - Ratkin
The giant rats charge the artillery, the brutes charge the horde, the rattlewagon and two heroes again charge the knight regiment.  In combat, the giant rats easily eat through all the ropes holding the trebuchet together and it is destroyed, leaving them to turn around.  The brutes put the smackdown on the knights, but AGAIN are hindered from the hedge (wasn't the hedge supposed to help me?) since the wavering knights weren't able to charge them back last turn.  Once again they managed to waver the horde of knights.  The heroes and rattlewagon manage to finally rout the smaller unit of knights, with all three units finally doing some damage.
Ratkin turn 6 - the knights are getting exhausted while the rats are dreaming of eating canned human for dinner
Turn 6 - Brotherhood.
One unit left that is wavering - but this time headstrong comes into play and the knight horde recovers, charging into the brutes.  The 32 attacks managed to do some serious damage to the brutes even without crushing strength, but Josh's dice decide to add insult to injury and he rolls snake-eyes for the nerve test (they would have passed on a 4).  Josh rolls a die - and even that won't give him any mercy as he gets a six and we have a seventh turn.

Turn 7 - Ratkin
The brutes charge the knight horde, but the giant rats are just out of range, being 15" from the flank of the knights.  But wait, I realize, I gave them the brew of haste - they move 8 - and so do manage to reach the flank of the knord.  With their 30 attacks on the flank, plus 18 attacks from the brutes who FINALLY aren't taking a penalty from the hedge (since they are counter-charging) (it actually only got them 2 more hits).  But at this point the horde has twenty wounds on it, and is finally routed.

So overall it was a good game - but Josh just had really bad luck with his dice.  For feedback - he really liked the rallying(n) rule for the ratkin, feeling it was very flavorful.   If he had taken out he spear rats like he intended so he could face the brutes, and if he had managed to route the war chief and overrun into the rattlewagon - well it would have been a VERY different result.

At this point level, Josh probably took too many points in artifacts - had he not taken them he would have had a hundred and five points left that could have both several small units.  Maybe three regiments of Order of the Brotherhood instead of one and the horde (though the horde is very scary).  However he is also not familiar with the list, so should get better.  It will be interesting to see if he brings it up to 1500 for next week.