It feels like it’s been forever since I last played Kings of War, but in that time Clash of Kings 2022 has slammed into the game and we’ve just begun feeling the weight of that impact. Add to all the new units and armies feverishly being born all the new players starting the game and it all adds up to exciting times in Pannithor. Personally, I’m adding loads of new stuff to the Hallow right now, partially because I already had expansions in progress and partially because COK unlocked quite a few units for the faction that otherwise were just hard to justify on the tabletop – including stuff I took in the beginning and kept passing over, like the Great Chieftain. Welcome to every game going forward, bud!
Since the Hallow is on the hobby desk, I commemorated my first COK22 outing by busting out Bloodfire: The Pre-Rebuild edition:
Salamanders 1995 Fire Elementals Horde – Diadem of Dragonkind Fire Elementals Horde Fire Elementals Horde Fire Elementals Horde Ember Sprites Regiment Ember Sprites Regiment Ember Sprites Regiment Ember Sprites Regiment Greater Fire Elemental Clan Lord – Effigy of Fire, Raptor Clan Lord – Effigy of Fire, Raptor Mage-Priest – Fireball (10), Surge (8), Scorched Earth (3) Battle Captain on Rhinosaur – Inspiring Talisman
This doesn’t take huge advantage of COK22 – there are no Scorchwings (yet) – but the shattering on the fireballs and the Me 3+ on the GFE certainly don’t hurt. I knew I wanted to take one of the new mega spells on the Mage-Priest, so went with Scorched Earth as I rate it the most meta-warping of the library. Yes, I do happen to have two very mobile combat individuals in the list as well. We’ll talk about changes at the end 😛
Varangur 1995 The Fallen Horde The Fallen Horde Snow Trolls Horde – Staying Stone Huscarls Regiment – Brew of Haste Mounted Sons of Korgaan Regiment – Guise of the Deceiver? Night Raiders Troop – Bows Cavern Dweller Lord on Frostfang – Snow Fox Lord on Horse – Snow Fox Magus – Host Shadowbeast (8), Lightning Bolt (4)
Speaking of juicing up combat characters, the Varangur obviously went that route, with the 7 attak base mounted Lord prepared to receive all the shadowbeast he could handle. Apart from that, business as usual, with elite fast hammers, a token chaff unit, and one beautiful beastie.
We rolled up Invade, which felt a little bit too lopsided for Bloodfire’s triumphant return, so we rerolled to Push and kept it. Bloodfire scouted then won and took first!
The Clan Lords rolled well, doing 3-4 damage each at the cost of the left one’s effigy.
And then I come to terms with having nothing to do with my 150 point Mage-Priest. I wanted to Scorched Earth those waiting Fallen, but she really is quite short. I find myself missing Heal, which my Priests have had for like 43 games straight. Sigh. (It’s almost nothing, but she could have surged in the Ember Sprites if they held and shot the Trolls. I’m not really used to Sprites being shambling!)
The Mage-Priest’s other option was to choose violence and wreck the Magus out of spite. It would turn out that spite isn’t always the wrong option …
Also the GFE is holding the Trolls’ 2 tokens, tying the game 2-2.
Salamanders 7: The Fire Elementals scoot forward and pick up the tokens, unable to turn and bring the Magus into their diadem’s arc. 2-2 draw.
Obviously I’m smarting from not choosing to kill the damn wizard, but I feel like that’s the moral of this story (and possibly COK22): Kill. The. Wizard. You used to more or less be able to ignore casters, as they were heal bots or bane chanters or boomstick operators, but that’s going to be less and less the case. Flipside, the reward for taking these tools out is higher than before, both points and cost to the enemy, so well worth it.
Host Shadowbeast feels kind of bad to play against, as I thought it would, but I guess it’s here until 4E hits. Honestly I’m inclined to just join in, especially when it comes to the build I ran here. Lizards don’t have a 7 attak blender like a few of the factions, so I’m just juicing up 5 attak beaters and rolling dice, which hey, is the point. It largely gives combat characters more options than speedbumps or sitting down flyers, which is on the whole good. On the counter point, Scorched Earth I still think is the most important spell of the new library for the meta, however with double mounted heroes and so much chaff, it feels less necessary here. It might be best in lists that a) have ensnare, so it’s extremely punishing, but don’t necessarily have pathfinder so aren’t lurking in terrain (I’m saying Trident Realms, ok?); or b) are really elite and don’t have the usual tools to ground flyers.
Which is to say, here’s the redux for whenever somebody wants to play 1995 again:
Salamanders 1995 Fire Elementals Horde – War Bow Fire Elementals Horde Fire Elementals Horde Fire Elementals Horde Ember Sprites Regiment Ember Sprites Regiment Ember Sprites Regiment Ember Sprites Regiment Greater Fire Elemental Clan Lord – Axe of the Giant Slayer, Raptor Clan Lord – Blade of Slashing, Raptor Mage-Priest – Crown of the Wizard King, Fireball (10), Surge (8), Host Shadowbeast (8) Battle Captain on Rhinosaur – Inspiring Talisman
165 points seems a bit preposterous on that Mage-Priest, but 18″ surge and shadowbeast feels good for how slow she is compared to the more aggressive parts of the army. I 100% miss the healing I’ve used for basically ever, however I’m thinking leaning into aggression might be good, rather than pretending I can be a counter-attak attrition force.
Oh, also Effigy of Fire continues to feel pretty bad. More attaks or more rerolls please.
I’ll probably get another game or two in before the new year! Until then, happy Clashing!