King of Equitaine vs Empire of Sonnstahl

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  • Hello

    I’m back after the broken ankle. I’m pretty much back to normal now so I was finally able to get a game of ninth age in so I set a game against a friend to dust off my ‘skills’ and get back on it. I used my Kingdom of Equitaine and my list looked like this:

    • Duke (General), Barded Warhorse, Virtue of Might, Divine Judgement, Crusader’s Salvation, Potion of Swiftness, Shield = 535
    • Paladin, Barded Warhorse, Virtue of Daring, Battle Standard Bearer, Wyrmwood Core, Basalt Infusion, Shield = 365
    • Damsel, Wizard Master, Druidism, Barded Warhorse, Wafers of Penitence = 410
    • 15 Knight Aspirants, Full Command = 670
    • 12 Knight of the Realm, Full Command = 608
    • 16 Bowmen, Musician = 210
    • 16 Crossbowmen = 238
    • 12 Knights of the Quest, Full Command = 630
    • 2 x 5 Yeoman Outriders, Shields and Light Armour = 270
    • 2 x Trebuchets = 560

    I’ve had some crossbowmen knocking about for a few years now and have never used them so this was basically an excuse to get them out an see how they fair. Now that Knight Errants are a reasonable price again I had to take them and I’m still persevering with the Questing Knights but I have yet to be impressed with them. I’ve got 3 main threats with the 3 big blocks of knights. I’ve taken a fairly shooty army to hopefully draw my opponent to me, weaken up any big blocks with the Trebuchets and then smash them off with the knights. That’s the plan at least.

    My opponent is using the Empire of Sonnstahl and his list:

    • Marshall (General), Great Tactician, Death Warrant, Imperial Seal, Lucky Charm
    • Marshall, Battle Standard Bearer, Dusk Forged, Black Steel, Shield
    • Wizard mounted on an Arcane Engine, Wizard Master, Basalt Infusion
    • Prelate, Plate Armour, Shield
    • Prelate, Plate Armour, Shield
    • 45 Heavy Infantry, Halberds, Full Command
    • 18 Light Infantry, Crossbows, Standard and Musician, Support Unit
    • 18 Light Infantry, Handguns, Standard and Musician, Support Unit
    • 33 Imperial Guard, Great Weapon, Full Command, Household Standard
    • 2 x 6 Reiters, Brace of Pistols
    • 2 x 3 Knights of the Sun Griffon, Musician

    So my opponent has a general with discipline of 10 and an 18” range on it with the Household Standard so I’m not expecting them to do a lot of fleeing. I hate the Reiters so I will definitely be trying to shoot them down with the Bowmen, their pistols are lethal against my knights and despite being chaff they cannot be underestimated. My number most hated unit in the Empire book though is the Arcane Engine with Arcane Shield, the -1 to hit on all units with 6” will severely limit my ability to get kills and I don’t need any help normally to rubber lance so that will just add to my frustration. It’s also got the Wizard on it so I’d like to Treb that if I can but I should be sensible and go for the Imperial Guard, weaken them up and then smash them off (I’m not sensible by the way). The Sun Griffons always give me a worry, they can’t be underestimated either, a unit of just 3 of them can put a severe dent in my units, even if I charge them.

    We roll for scenario and get Marching Columns, one I’ve not had the pleasure of playing, the secondary objective is Breakthrough. For my spells I pick Breath of the Lady, Summer Growth, Master of Earth and Stone Skin. I decided to not pick The Oaken Throne as it takes up one of my spell slots and I generally find it wastes dice as opponents let it through with the aim of dispelling everything else. Plus with taking the Hereditary spell it would only leave me with 2 other spells if I took it. I wanted to take Magical Heirloom, which would have gotten me around this problem, but I ran out of points.

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    After trying to get my head around the deployment method we finally deploy as shown below. I was hoping to form more of a castle but the scenario kind of hampered my deployment somewhat. I finish deploying first but as I’m praying I get no benefit for deploying first so it’s just a straight roll of for first turn and I win!

    The Reiters vanguard forward on the flanks and I retreat with my Yeoman Outriders to keep them safe for when I need them.

    KoE 1

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    There’s not much in the way of movement from my army, I inch the knight blocks forward and turn the bowmen to face the Reiters on the left. Hopefully I can whittle the Reiters down before they get a chance to fight back.

    There isn’t much I can do in the magic phase as my Damsel is too far away for Master of Earth so I end up only getting off Stone Skin on the Knights Errant.

    In the shooting phase the Bowmen and the Yeoman Outriders shoot at the Reiters and only succeed in killing one Reiter. The other Yeomen shoot at the Reiters but do nothing.

    (Gah, Unpainted miniatures!)

    The Crossbowmen unleash their first every volley of bolts at the Hand Gunners and kill 4 of them, not too shabby. I then open fire with the big guns, the Trebuchets. I’ve always loved the Trebs ever since the world that was so it feels good to be bringing these engines of war back to the battlefield. I have achieved some epic feats of heroism and accuracy with these two so I’m hoping to repeat that today. The Trebuchet on the left misfires and is now unable to shoot for the rest for the game and the Trebuchet on the right aims at the Arcane Engine and misses but does hit with a partial hit, but that does nothing. I would have been better off going for the Imperial Guard, might have killed one at least.

    EoS 1

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    My opponent isn’t used to me sitting back and not running head first so now he has to do it to me instead. The Sun Griffons move up the right side of the board, the Halberdiers and Imperial Guard move forwards and the Hand Gunners have to step forward to be in range to shoot me. The Reiters on the left move forward to open fire at the Yeoman Outriders. He gives the order that allows the unit to shoot in extra ranks to both the Hand Gunners and the Crossbowmen.

    My opponent has a good magic phase and I sable to cast a bubbled Scrying giving Hard target to the Arcane Engine as well as the Hand Gunners, Crossbowmen and Imperial Guard. This is then followed up with a Fireball (his chosen Hereditary spell) on my Crossbowmen, killing 4 of them but they pass their panic test.

    In the shooting phase the Reiters on the left shoot at the Yeoman Outriders, killing 2 of them and despite them being able to use the Discipline of the Knights of the Quest they fail their panic test and run off the table. The Crossbowmen shoot at my Crossbowmen and kill 5 of them. The Hand Gunners shoot at the Knight Errant and despite them having Stone Skin cast on them a Knight Errant dies. The Reiters also shoot at the Knight Errant but fail to wound any Knights.

    KoE 2

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    The enemy is too close to my Knights Errant for my liking so I decide to declare a charge with them. I could charge the Reiters but they’ll just flee and I’ll then have to take a risky redirect test so instead I decide to charge the Sun Griffon Knights next to the Imperial Guard. If I can break them and pursue far enough then I’ll at least be behind their lines.

    I march the Knights of the Quest up the right hand side to face the flank of the Halberdiers and then move the Knights of the Realm forward so they have an array of targets to charge next turn. The Bowmen turn to face the Reiters again, some are in short range this time so hopefully I’ll kill more than one of them.

    In the Magic Phase I’m able to cast Stone Skin on the Knights Errant and raise one crossbowman back from the dead. I tried to cast Breath of the Lady but my opponent dispelled it. I then cast Master of Earth on the Arcane Engine and inflict 2 wounds on it.

    In the shooting phase the Crossbowmen shoot at the Halberdiers and kill 2 of them. The Bowmen shoot at the Reiters and are only able to kill 1 again. The Yeomen open fire at the Reiters on the right and kill 1 of them. The remaining Trebuchet only has 2 decent targets now that Scrying is cast, the Halberdiers or the Sun Griffons, I target the Halberdiers and score a direct hit! The hit kills 8 of the Halberdiers, I was hoping for more though, shame it wasn’t the Arcane Engine instead, it would probably be dead now.

    In Combat the Knights Errant going smashing in with their lances and inflict 2 wounds on the Sun Griffons. The Griffons and the Knights attack back but are unable to inflict any wounds on the Knights thanks to Stone Skin. I win combat by 7, the Sun Griffons fail their break test and flee 12” the Knights Errant pursue but fall well short only going 6”. They are now in a terrible position, thanks to the ridiculous length of the large unit the Imperial Guard can easily get a flank charge but I think they’re safe from the other Sun Griffons as the Reiters are blocking their charge.

    EoS 2

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    The Reiters take me by surprise and declare a charge against the Crossbowmen, I thought the charge was too far away for them to even get close to making it but they only need a 9 on the dice, which they make! This leaves the way clear for the Sun Griffon unit to charge the flank of my Knights Errant who are then joined by the Imperial Guard on the other flank. It’s pretty safe to assume they’re dead now, what a waste of 670 points that is!

    To make matters worse the fleeing Sun Griffons now rally and turn around. The Halberdiers are given the order to increase their movement and with that they are able to reform 5 wide and turn to face the Knights of the Quest, move 5” and they are now out of the Line of Sight of the Knight of the Realm! That movement phase has been brutal for me! The Reiters on the left dart around to the rear of my Questing Knights.

    The only spell my opponent is able to get off in the Magic Phase is The Star’s Align on the Hand Gunners. In the shooting phase the Hand Gunners open fire on the Knights of the realm and kill 3 of them. The Crossbows then shoot at them as well and kill 2 more. I just lost a third of my unit to some cheap shooting. The Reiters on the left shoot at the Questing Knights and kill 4 of them!, there’s only 4 Reiters left in the unit at this point as well! That shooting phase was also pretty lethal!

    Onto the combat phase I don’t think things are going to go any better here. We start off with the Reiters fighting my Crossbows and the Reiters kill 2 of the Crossbowmen, my one attack back fails to do anything but I’m able to pass my break test and stick, they then reform to face the Reiters.

    In the big combat the Sun Griffon Knights go first and and are only able to kill 2 Knights Errant. The Knights Errant attack back and are only able to kill a single Imperial Guard. The Great Swords then get to attack the Knights. The Marshalls in the unit fail to cause any wounds but the Rank and File kill 4 Knights Errant. I have lost combat by 10 after that so I automatically break and flee from the Imperial Guard and roll a 12 for the distance (if I rolled that for my pursuit roll last turn I wouldn’t be in this mess! Only the Sun Griffons pursue and they go 9”, the Imperial Guard reform to face the Knights of the Realm.

    KoE 3

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    Well my army and my battle plan is lying in tatters at this point. My Questing Knights are too weak now to stand a chance of taking on the Halberdiers on their own now, although even at full strength I don’t think they would win that grind. The Knights of the Realm aren’t in great shape now and they can’t help the Questing Knights but they can’t take another round of shooting or they are dead. I decide to charge the Knights of the Realm at the Crossbows who flee but luckily for me they flee off the board. I then re direct and decide to go on a suicide mission into the Imperial Guard, I have a cunning plan though but the chances of pulling it off are small, real small!

    The Knights Errant fail to rally and flee off the board. The Knights of the Quest run past the Halberdiers with the hope that they may be able to help out the Knights of the Real at some point.

    In the Magic Phase the only spell I’m able to get off is Summer Growth so I can grow back some Knights of the Realm at least .

    The Bowmen shoot at the Reiters for a third time but this time they haven’t moved, they kill 3 of them leaving a lonely Reiter who passes his panic test. The Trebuchet opens fire at the Arcane Engine but Misfires and is also not able to fire for the rest of the game as well. Those Trebuchets have been utterly useless for me this game, 560 points for 1 direct hit killing 8 Halberdiers.

    Onto combat and it is time for my cunning plan. The plan isthat my General is in base to base combat with both the opponents BSB and General, I’m going to kill one of them! I’m going to issue a challenge with my BSB and whichever of them accepts hope he can kill them and my lord will kill the other one. I win combat the unit would still be stubborn because the Prelate is hiding in the corner and refuses to get into combat, but the unit would now be a single Discipline 8 test to stick around, there’s at least a better chance of them failing that.

    So my BSB issues a challenge, my opponents BSB accepts, so now my Duke is free to smash his lance through the enemy General. With 5 attacks hitting on 4s (thanks to that bloody Arcane Engine) I get 3 hits. I’m then wounding on 2s and of course I roll 2 1s, scoring one wound, that could be enough though, except my opponent passes his 5+ Armour Save! I still have an extra attack to roll for because of the Virtue of Might and I scored 1 wound, but that fails to hit, shattering any hope I had for this game now. I cannot believe I failed to kill that Marshall, this is one thing my Duke should be able to do and he let me down. The Marshall attacks back and does no wounds as well at least.

    My BSB in the challenge scores 2 hits and 2 wounds which is not enough but it’s not bad but my opponent passes his 4+ Armour Saves with ease. I don’t bother using the Breath Weapon of the Wyrmwood Core as it’s AP 0 so he’ll just pass all his Armour Saves. The opponents BSB fails to wound my BSB as well. It’s all down to the Rank and File now, my Knights of the Realm kill 3 Imperial Guard, 3! That’s on the charge as well! The Imperial Guard kill 1 Knight of the Realm as well ( I saved 8 wounds out of 9). I win combat but the unit is Stubborn on Discipline 10 with a reroll and easily passes it’s break test.

    The only other combat remaining is the Reiters against the Crossbowmen, the Reiters kill 4 of them and I do no wounds in return. The Crossbowmen break but my opponent doesn’t pursue, he pivots to face the Trebuchet.

    EoS 3

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    Two Charges from my opponent this turn. The Hand Gunners charge the flank of the Knights of the Realm to lend some combat res to the situation. The Reiters charge the Trebuchet.

    The Halberdiers reform to face the rear of the Knights of the Quest. The lone Reiter hides behind the building. The Arcane engine moves behind the Imperial Guard and the Sun Griffons turn to face the combats.

    A big Magic Phase for my opponent and he is able to get off Portent of Doom on my Knight of the Real block, reducing their Offensive Skill and Defensive Skill by 3. I’ve never seen that spell go off with such a brutal effectiveness as it has done on my unit, they’re going to have to be lucky to survive this turn now. The Wizard then casts a Fireball on my last 2 Crossbowmen who both die in a fiery conflagration. My opponent then casts the bound spell of the Arcane Engine, Perception of Strength on the Imperial Guard, giving them +1 Strength and +1 AP.

    No Shooting for once so we go straight to the main combat. The character just tickle each other as no one is able to score any wounds, my Duke and Paladin are very ineffective after the charge and my opponents character only have their base Strength so can’t get past my armour. So the Hand Gunners go first and manage to kill a Knight of the Realm. The Knights attack back and kill 1 Hand Gunner and 1 Imperial Guard, really not good enough. The Imperial Guard attack the Knights of the Realm and are only able to kill 2 of them but it’s enough for the Empire to win combat by at least 5. I fail my break test twice and break from combat, not too surprising. The Knights flee 9” and both Empire units pursue but are unable to catch the knights.

    The Reiters easily kill the Trebuchet but not before the Trebuchet crew take one of their numbers down, go peasants!

    KoE 4

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    Things have gone real bad now, in a last ditch attempt at getting some points I charge the Knights of the Quest at the Hand Gunners. I fail to rally my Knights of the Realm who flee through the Bowmen, causing them to panic and flee as well. The Yeomen dart in front of the Imperial Guard to stop them charging the Knights of the Quest, though with the Halberdiers breathing down their neck it won’t matter if the Questing Knights can’t break the Hand Gunners.

    In combat the Questing Knights use their Bastard Swords as Light Spears and kill 7 of the Hand Gunners leaving 7 in the unit, enough for full rank. A little rule I forgot about is the Parent and Supporting unit rules. So the Hand Gunners can use the ranks of any Parent unit with 8” for the purposes of being Steadfast as long as they have 1 full rank. I assumed they had to be with 8” of the Halberdiers as I thought that was their parent unit but the Imperial Guard are also a Parent unit. So the Hand Gunners are steadfast unless the horses can kill 3 of them, and they fail to kill any Hand Gunners. The Hand Gunners don’t kill any Knights of the Quest but they stick and the Questing Knights are about to die.

    EoS 4

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    The Halberdiers charge the flank of the Knights of the Quest, the Imperial Guard charge the Yeoman Outriders and the Reiters charge the Trebuchet.

    The only spell that goes off this turn is the 5++ Aegis save on the Halberdiers but it will have little effect any way.

    In combat the Imperial Guard kill all the Yeoman who fail to kill any Imperial Guard. The Reiters kill the last Trebuchet who don’t succeed in killing any Reiters.

    The Halberdier combat is next and the Hand Gunners do no wounds, my warhorses fail to kill any Halberdiers or Hand Gunners so it’s over to the Halberdiers. Thanks to orders and being 8 wide the Halberdiers get to fight in 4 ranks for 32 attacks, with hatred from the Prelate. The Halberdiers easily kill all 8 remaining Questing Knights with that many attacks.

    KoE 5

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    My Knights of the Realm rally and then so do the Bowmen. We call the game there as there is little point in carrying on. I would just hide my Knights of the Realm and deny him all those points but it’s still a big win for the Empire.

    Well that was a pretty disastrous game for my first game back in 3 months. I made some very basic errors like letting the Halberdiers get out of the Line of Sight of my Knights of the Realm Block, I should have double checked that they couldn’t get away instead of just assuming they couldn’t. I should never be charging knight blocks out solo as well, they simply can’t deal with big units on their own and even if they can deal with a unit it’s important to make sure they can get their flanks clear afterwards. As we witnessed with the Knights Errant, big units in Lance Formation have such long flanks that it’s easy for the enemy to counter charge them unless they can break through with a big pursue or overrun.

    My game plan went out of the window in the first turn as well. I should have been shooting the Imperial Guard with my Trebuchets from the get go, as soon as that unit is whittled down I have a fighting chance. Even with the Trebuchets I still felt I was outgunned, my opponents shooting was lethal, especially the Reiters, those mobile pistol shots are horrible and we saw how terrible my Bowmen were with dealing with them. I’m not sure about the Trebuchets, I really like them because of their threat potential but it’s just so many points for something that can break first turn and do nothing, I can get a big unit of Pegasus Knights for the cost of 2 trebuchets which just seems a better point investment. As for the Bowmen they were disappointing, I know I should never expect too much from peasants but I thought a unit of 16 Bowmen should be able to kill some fast cav. After looking at the Kingdom of Equitaine book Brigands are a much better choice, you get less troops but they hit on a 3+ and get no penalty for moving and shooting, that easily makes up for the loss of number of shots. So they are now on the painting table, I’ve got an old Bertrand the Brigand and his merry men to get painted up so it’s the perfect excuse.

    My opponent’s magic was much deadlier than mine too, I think in part because of the huge selection of spells the Empire is able to bring to the game thanks to the Prelates. I don’t think I lost much by not taking The Oaken Throne either. My opponent outmatched me in every phase of the game to his credit. His army is ruthlessly efficient and just destroyed mine like it was nothing. I could have bought my army on again at turn 4, had 9000 v 4500 and he would have just smashed it off. I have to use the KoE like a precision tool, picking my spots and taking those opportunities and knowing what i can and cannot fight, that's where i struggle.

    The biggest disappointment in the game for me was my Duke! How could he not kill the enemy General, he was all geared up for it and everything, I still think it’s one of the best builds for a Duke so I’ll continue to take it, maybe get him on a Pegasus instead of a horse, make him even more of a threat.

    Anyway, the game has at least given me lots to think about. I’m hoping to attend a tournament in the summer at least (hopefully I won’t break any other bones) and see how I fair with the Kingdom.

    Until next time, Axel Vicious out.

    663 times read

Comments 3

  • Iluvatar -

    Great battle report!
    The result is a bit rough for you, but that's what you get for being rusty after 3 months of not playing... Double punishment from that broken ankle! ;)
    I can tell you though that the read was very enjoyable. Nice pics, and nice use of Battle Chronicler, all of it with clear explanations about plans, thoughts and happenings. Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this!

  • Iluvatar -

    Just starting this nice read, but I can't let this go or I risk forgetting it... Go check again the rules for The Oaken Throne!

    • AxelVicious -

      Gah, you're right. I haven't used Druidism in 2.0 so I was expecting Oaken Thorne to have a T instead of a 0. Spent 10 minutes trawling through the rule book to check if I got Oaken Throne, didn't check the first line of Druidism, duh. Thanks for pointing it out.