First outing of Warthrone

A place to talk about battles, campaigns and scenarios

First outing of Warthrone

Postby und_ed » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:48 am

So last night Azimyth and myself tried out Warthrone, the massed combat game from Avatars of War, in the hopes that we had found a good replacement for our dear departed friend Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

I'm going to give a run-down of the action, then follow it up with my initial thoughts on the system.

Army building: Both of us registered as users on the avatars of war site, which game us access to their complete army builder software directly available (and constantly updated) army builder software on their website. Simple to use and intuitive click-to-add units and edit options. Score 1 for Warthrone.

Terrain setup: Azimyth won a minor tactical advantage, and set up the terrain to be quite restricitive with both buildings and forests obstructing the paths between us, while I was able to free us some space to reach him since he only had a minor tactical advantage. His minor tactical advantage allowed him to force me to deploy my Necrosphinx and my primary infantry block of skeletons before anything else, and then I needed to choose something to deploy, which was my chariot unit. Having a small army, his tactical advantage was turning into something very significant, something I like a lot.

Here's the board after deployment:
G1Dep1.jpg


G1Dep2.jpg


You'll notice the odd shape of my skeleton unit. I deployed them in a column formation, which is a less powerful fighting formation but one that gives me a bonus to movement. I wanted to make that big block a frightening rock that would hold his army at bay while the other stuff cleaned up around them, and the formation aided me in doing so.

Turn #1, and the elves sieze the initiative (initiative is rolled each round, which is a frightening notion for planning your next turn). Everything moves towards me, and I hunker down, issuing defensive orders to withstand the hail or shooting coming my way. I realise the horrific threat range of his heavy cavalry, and my chariots run away behind the house while the necrosphinx flies off to load up threats on the left flank.

Cowardice.jpg


bunker.jpg


Azimyth again wins the initiative. Now the elves get stuck in. His light cavalry (basically witch elves on horses) charge into my necropolis knights, while other witches fail to charge due to fear (so nice to have a meaningful fear mechanic again). The rest advance to shoot and make my life miserable. I issue a counter-order with my necroknights to get my defences ready, and then use some of the fancy new order and formation mechanics to split my skeleton unit into two units, one big unit with my king to do the hard work, and a small bunker unit behind with my priest to keep body and soul together. Hi wizard mind-control my king, but my defensive orders allow me to resist his subtle machinations. My neccrosphinx charged into his crossbowmen, wanting to disrupt his battle line a bit.

battleensues.jpg


Combat rolls around, and my knights' defences are much too strong for his girlies to crack, and the girlies get squashed, while the crossbowmen hold fast against the monstrous beastie. On the right flank, my chariots see his knights turning in to the melee, and hop out from behind the house. Their cowardice is costing them in formation and initiative, but they're feeling better about their prospects now.

backIn.jpg


Seeing the left flank getting hurt, now the elves commit to beating down the world. The knights charge king's skeleton block, which in response hunkers down to defend against the charge. The scorpion that arrived in the rear joins the necrosphinx for some elf-flesh. The elf rangers pulll a sneaky move, issuing an advance order to take some early (and highly effective) shots into the chariots before charging into the chariots. I try to counter-charge with the chariots, but they refuse the order, useless sods.

chariotShreds.jpg


KnightsIn.jpg


The sorceror again mind-controls the king, who wallops off an entire rank of skeletons, after which we get stuck into combat. The command of the tomb king turns the skeletons into absolute wrecking balls, and the elves cannot do enough damage to crack the undead wall. The fleeing elves plus the destroyed crossbowmen are enough to turn the tide of morale too far to be recovered, and the undead take the field!

Post-game and system thoughts:

Pre-game rigmorale (tactical advantage)
I loved this. There is genuine risk and reward for taking designated scouting units that survey the battlefield beforehand. Pure win.

Orders:
Cautiously optimistic. This is a great advantage of the system, but potentially its biggest weakness. The order interactions are not only complicated, but also littered with exceptions. This is the reason last night's game was painfully slow, with us trying to cross-reference rule after rule after rule for everything we tried to do. I am hopeful that more familiarity with the game will speed this up greatly, but this does make it harder to learn. On the plus side, the opportunities for tactical depth within the order system are staggering.

Formations:
Partially because the undead cannot march, I did not make as much use of formations as I would have liked. Still, the ability to make your formation a meaningful part of your battle-plan was a breath of fresh air. I used formations and orders to gain a valuable part of the board's real-estate and then separate off the fragile elements from enemy attack. Really like this aspect of the game.

Morale:
a really nice touch as well. As more units get bludgeoned down, the army gets more and more shaky. The early loss of the mounted witches meant Azimyth had a penalty to all of his morale checks for his other units, making early removal of something small a strong tactical play (and makes you think twice about callously sending your own troops to their deaths). Need more games to evaluate this better, but I like what I've seen so far.

Community:
I was concerned that some of my abilities in this newly-approved army list were too powerful. I posted a query about it on the games' forums about its strength and whether we had played it right (see the byzantine rules interactions I talked about above for orders). Not only did I get a response in under 6 hours from a community manager, but he confirmed we had played it right (yay, I think?), confirmed that it was stronger than intended, and told me how it was going to be fixed to be in line with the rest of the game. This response is something I love, and cannot speak of highly enough.

Verdict:
I'm not sold yet, but I'm very excited nonetheless. The system has a lot of things I really love, I'm a bit nervous about the order system though (too many odd interactions, plus it seems to be their design space for all the special rules that can unbalance a game). I will definitely be playing more games, and I encourage anyone looking for a fantasy replacement game to give it a try. The rules are freely available from their website, linky below:

http://www.avatars-of-war.com/eng/web/i ... &Itemid=51
Coprophilia - it's a dirty business, but at least it's better than staring at Dark Angel across the table.
-Ed.
User avatar
und_ed
Lover of all things elvish
 
Posts: 4958
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:21 am

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby Doc Rot » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:04 am

Interesting, didn't know this was available.

We've been focussing on KoW down here which is going down a hoot.
Doc Rot
brigadier-general
 
Posts: 1273
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby und_ed » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:07 am

Our choice is pretty much KoW or Warthrone. KoW seems simpler (which is imo a plus), and very tactical, but Azmiyth really piqued my interest in Warthrone when he showed me the formation rules, so I wanted to give this a try first.
Coprophilia - it's a dirty business, but at least it's better than staring at Dark Angel across the table.
-Ed.
User avatar
und_ed
Lover of all things elvish
 
Posts: 4958
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:21 am

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby Alqualonde » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:19 pm

I found KoW easy and fun to play. Warthrone looks deeper and more complex. Interesting conundrum to reach a decision on which way to go.
Eca a mitta lambetya cendelesse orcova
Alqualonde
lieutenant-general
 
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:30 pm

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby Bruce » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:06 pm

This battle report is giving me some hope again.
Bruce
Fanboi of the year 2011
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby und_ed » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:05 pm

The game is really intriguing.

The order system gives you a lot of scope to extract value from units, changing their purpose mid-battle and using an appropriate formation to advance said purpose.
Coprophilia - it's a dirty business, but at least it's better than staring at Dark Angel across the table.
-Ed.
User avatar
und_ed
Lover of all things elvish
 
Posts: 4958
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:21 am

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby Digriz » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:04 am

Don't rule out AoS. It's a great game with a lot of tactics which are not apparent until you have played some games. Try it out with the clash of swords pack. Deployment alone is way more tactical than 8th ever was.
Its better to burn out than to fade away...

@kevinwarhammer
User avatar
Digriz
lieutenant
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 8:15 am

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby und_ed » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:29 am

AoS simply isn't the game I'm (or many other ex-fantasy players) looking for, Digriz.

good / bad aside, we're looking for a game that gives us ranked combat, with all the tactical nuance that entails. Being another skirmish game, AoS is just a bad fit - I have a much better game (Warmachine) to play a skirmish game, which is actually supported by its controlling company.
Coprophilia - it's a dirty business, but at least it's better than staring at Dark Angel across the table.
-Ed.
User avatar
und_ed
Lover of all things elvish
 
Posts: 4958
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:21 am

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby DaImp » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:06 am

Looks like this could be an interesting system - if the Orders mechanic isn't too complicated. I do like the concept of orders though, something thats been in various wargames for decades to mimic miscommunication in the heat of battle.

Some lovely miniatures made by the company as well which is attractive. And I see they have gone the same route as KoW in making rules for all the Warhammer Armies (if anything they are even less shameless about it! lol)
Jonathan Merry
Warhammer Generals head honcho

Check out my WHFB 3rd Edition blog: http://oldhammergenerals.blogspot.com
User avatar
DaImp
general
 
Posts: 5530
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:11 pm
Location: partying with the Bunnygirls

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby DaImp » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:24 pm

And how can you not love the artwork :)

Image
Image
Jonathan Merry
Warhammer Generals head honcho

Check out my WHFB 3rd Edition blog: http://oldhammergenerals.blogspot.com
User avatar
DaImp
general
 
Posts: 5530
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:11 pm
Location: partying with the Bunnygirls

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby Azimyth » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:17 pm

The artwork is somewhat similar to Brian Froud's Goblin Companion
Religion: A cult for the masses
God Protect Me ... From Your Followers
FAQed up by the FAQing FAQs.
User avatar
Azimyth
brigadier-general
 
Posts: 1417
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:48 am
Location: D.net

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby DaImp » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:58 pm

It does look very similar. This is by Wayne England who also illustrated lots of Warhammer stuff.
Jonathan Merry
Warhammer Generals head honcho

Check out my WHFB 3rd Edition blog: http://oldhammergenerals.blogspot.com
User avatar
DaImp
general
 
Posts: 5530
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:11 pm
Location: partying with the Bunnygirls

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby joppie » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:26 pm

How is warthrone compared to Kings of War? Takes longer? Movement system? Combat?
Fear accompanies the possibility of death. Calm shepherds it's certainty.
joppie
general
 
Posts: 2046
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:11 pm
Location: pretoria

Re: First outing of Warthrone

Postby Azimyth » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:01 pm

Much more complex. Movement similar to warhammer but you have to give orders to march or charge. Combat is similar to KoW. Game definitely takes longer than KoW.
Mine and Und_Ed's main gripe is that the converted armies are way stronger than the original armies as the fanbois are trying to do a pure port which doesn't really work.
Religion: A cult for the masses
God Protect Me ... From Your Followers
FAQed up by the FAQing FAQs.
User avatar
Azimyth
brigadier-general
 
Posts: 1417
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:48 am
Location: D.net


Return to Battle Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest