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Kings of War - Shadowed Horizons Campaign

Kings of War - Shadowed Horizons Campaign

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Armada Game 1

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 6

Mantic link for how to take part in the campaign:

Technically the campaign doesn’t start until this coming weekend but we got our first game in this past Saturday. Here’s how it went.

Battle Report (after a fashion)

Woodstock and I have only played one demo game before (and that was several months ago) and so we just went with the recommended “normal” sized game from the rule book of 200 points. We couldn’t find a larger sea mat in the gaming café we were in so just used the one from the starter box. It’s a little smaller than the 4ft by 4ft recommended but we made it work. Getting a decent mat is definitely on my list for “next steps” purchases. It was a little slow going but the game was a lot of fun – definitely would speed up with experience. Or if I just had the kind of brain that could remember anything for more than one turn.

I ran out of time for proper list building so just sort of threw things onto the table that matched the points of Woodstock’s list. It ended up being a lot of ships, with no upgrades being used. Trident Realms have several themed fleet rules that are fun to play with. The main drawback to them is they only have front arc weapons so no broadsides, no chance at raking fire. To mitigate this, they have weird maneuvering rules and a fleet wide –1 to hit (which became known very quickly as “because fish”).

We played Scenario 8 from the main rule book; Flotsam and Jetsam. 9 loot tokens were placed after we put out the terrain. All with their value side down so we didn’t know which was worth what. At the end of a ship’s activation, you could gather loot tokens within 3″ and at the end of each turn, whatever loot tokens were still loose on the board floated 3″ whichever way the wind was blowing. The scenario lasts 8 turns and the value of your loot was what defined the winner.


The wind was placed in the west for turn one and the tactics of each of us was clear from the outset. The orcs wisely played the objective and moved to pick up loot. The fish picked up a couple but mostly held back and started peppering fire from turn one.

For anyone who hasn’t played, Armada uses d10s for weapons with the base hit being on a 6. Crew experience, distance, speed etc modify this. Damage is static by weapon type (indirect, light, heavy and close). Crits do damage and then roll 2d6 on a crit table which mostly just adds varying levels of extra damage.

Armada Game 1

By the end of turn one, most of the tokens were on board ships. Turns two to four was really us getting to grips with the rules and the fleets. There was a lot of failed grapples (both fleets are big fans of a grapple and boarding actions), particularly from my side. Regular crew needing a 5 on a d6 to pass a skill check held me back enough that I’ll definitely consider spending the upgrade points to go for a veteran crew next time.

Turn five and the orcs ganged up on a poor turtle and it ended up grappled on two sides and promptly surrendered. The largest of the orc vessels also surrendered after prolonged attacks from multiple fish. One fish all but sunk itself with a stray indirect fire. The direction your misfires go is dependent on which way the point of the dice is facing –  I need to get better at remembering to not picking up my dice too fast. It was around this point that I forgot about taking photos cos I was chatting too much… story of my life.

Armada Game 1

Turn six and the Trident Realm’s need to stay facing front arc for shooting started to cause some issues as, with some good maneuvering, the orcs managed a few raking fire shots. These are double damage if in the bow (front) and triple if the stern (rear).  The stern rake was particularly brutal with multiple critical hits in addition to the triple damage. The second turtle ship misjudged a movement and ended up going off the board. Unlike in other games, this doesn’t kill you; at the end of the turn, you just come back on in the same spot but with an activation token already on you. In effect it means you lose a turn but are on the board and therefore can be shot at. This is going to be a problem.

Turn Seven and the table was looking a lot less busy. Only one sinking on the orc side, three for the fish. Both sides had several ships limping along but the fish were closest to being able to sink the orcs and steal back some valuable loot tokens. 

Turn eight and two things happened that set the tone. We finally remembered the repair rules were a thing that exists and the orcs gained back more health than the fish could dish out. No sinking and snatching up the loot for me. The second thing was the poor turtle from turn six was the last to activate and was sunk before getting the chance. Taking with it a valuable 2 point loot token. The orcs won 4 points to 1.

Armada Game 1

Final thoughts

Overall a slow game but that was entirely us and not a reflection on the rules. All in I think it was around 3 hours for 8 turns but I could easily see that dropping as we play more games. I know I spend the rest of the afternoon thinking about the game, and planning out future fleets. The next morning I got a text from Woodstock saying she has caught the bug and wants more games too. Then the local gaming group discord had a couple of people mention an interest in giving it a try. Time to get that two player starter set painted up!!

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Cult of Games Member

Ooh nice your project terrain an fleet look fantastic for the game table’s @gorram congrats on the gold button.

Cult of Games Member

2023-09-12 Your page has been visited by the unofficial Hobby Hangout. Huzza!

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