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Observations on playing Varangrrr

It has been a few days since I played at the Black Dragon Miniatures 2000pt KoW event with my Varangrrr.  The army list is reproduced below with a breakdown of their “battlegrouping” and the intended plan for using them.

  • Skald on Mount  with Diadem of Dragon Kind
  • Sons of Korgaan Infantry Regiment, Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury, Blessing of the Gods
  • Sons of Korgaan Infantry Regiment, Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury, Chant of Hate
      • The Infantry Sons would work as a tag team; advancing together with the Skald behind.   The units were focused primarily on enemy infantry units as I was confident that even if double charged, a single regiment should be able to hold its ground (especially with inspiring).
  • The Fallen horde, Brew of Strength
  • Devourer with breath attack 10
  • Tundra Wolves Cavalry Troop, Blade of Slashing
      • The Fallen, one troop of wolves and the Devourer formed my fast attack wing (albeit with “only” speed 7 on the devourer.  The plan for them was to engage with enemy flank forces, overwhelm and then encircle the enemy battleline
  • Tundra Wolves Cavalry Troop, Mace of Crushing
  • Mounted Sons of Korgaan, Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury, Potion of the caterpillar
  • Mounted Sons of Korgaan, Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury, Brew of Sharpness
      • These units formed my third battlegroup.  Primarily aimed at defeating the enemies’ heavy hitters, I ran these “straight down the middle” in tandem, with the wolves hoping to engage / force the charge from an enemy cav unit.
  • Magus Conclave with Famulus
    • This unit was left undefended in my deployment zone.  From previous experience, I was expecting them to be targeted by fast moving troops and I have found them rather effective at killing these.  If targeted by a single expensive flying character there’s no great loss – the unit is only 110pts.

I’ve already written a report on the event and in general the units behaved as I expected.  I messed up in game 1 by worrying too much about the enemy flyers *and* not keeping my cavalry units together.  By splitting them, the enemy was able to gang up on each separately.  Game 2 worked like a dream and Game 3 I had issues with Cavalry fighting over obstacles and therefore not allowing them to punch through a dwarf battleline.

Gaming Observations

The issues I did identify in the games were:

  • Lack of inspiring (especially with the cav unit)
  • Cavalry getting “bogged” down too badly (especially in game 3)
  • Lack of impact from the Magus Conclave
  • The Devourer being a bit.. meh.

Next Steps

I’m now planning my next units and looking at how to change (and hopefully improve) the list.  First up is to replace the cavalry with a regiment of direfangs.  They are slower and have an inferior Me but they have more attacks, CS2 and Strider so I will always be hitting on Me4+ regardless of any terrain effects; 30 attacks, 15 hits and 7.5 damage vs. De6 (10 damage vs. De5).  The loss of speed may hurt but this unit is more capable of taking a charge and dishing out counter-charge damage than the knights.  As with most alpha strike units, they really need a speed-bump unit to either take the initial charge or cause melee damage to the enemy unit and remove the TC.  That’s the role of the wolf troop in this battlegroup.  The final unit in this group is the Chieftan on the Direfang..

I’m planning on adding the chieftan on Direfang.  The Lord hits hard (Me3 and CS3 with elite), has strider and is inspiring.  Adding him to the direfangs will allow this battlegroup to punch through a battleline, especially with the addition of a few magic items.

The Magus conclave is an odd one to deal with.  I feel that even Varangrrr need some shooting so deleting the unit entirely doesn’t sit well with me.  I think a second conclave will give some additional confidence / threat without compromising my army in other areas too badly.  And at only 220 points, there’s still no concern with leaving them to fend for themselves (and as individual war engines, they get to turn and shoot anyone sneaking up on them).

The Fallen and wolf troop worked well as a unit but I wanted to add some extra punch (the 2 damage from the devourer/turn didn’t cut the mustard.  I’m therefore trialling a Cursed Son with the Wings of Honeymaze.  This is a hard hitting (7 attacks, Me3+ and CS2) individual and the ability to fly will allow him to choose his combats.  His primary role will be hunt war-engines and heros.

So, here’s the updated ~ 2000 point army, listed by battlegroup.  I’ve got some additional points to spare for artifacts still.

Battlegroup 1

  • Mounted Skald
  • Sons of Korgaan Infantry Regiment, Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury
  • Sons of Korgaan Infantry Regiment, Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury

Battlegroup 2

  • Tundra Wolves Cavalry Troop
  • Direfang Rider Horde,  Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury
  • Chieftan on Direfang,  Gift of Korgaan: Gain Headstrong and Fury

Battlegroup 3

  • The Fallen horde, Brew of Strength
  • Tundra Wolves Cavalry Troop
  • Cursed Son with Wings of Honeymaze

Battlegroup 4

  • Magus Conclave with Famulus
  • Magus Conclave with Famulus

Next event is probably a few weeks away but I’ve got a few units that need buying, building, painting and basing between now and then!