A recent demo and a 50% sale left me in possession of a Wrath of Kings rulebook and a Shael Han starter set. Apparently Wrath is one of those game a lot of people have heard about, but haven't bought models for. Luckily, I found a willing opponent in Kevyn, who grabbed a rulebook and a Goritsi starter for himself.
The terrain on the table made for a proper Tellorian setting, with evil looking ruins and deserted hilltops.
For the sake of learning the rules, we decided for a simple beat-em-up at the Patrol game size.
Kevyn's List (Goritsi, 6 Moral):
Dancing Master (Commander)
Zeti War Dancer x8
Skorza Skirmisher x2
My list (Shael Han, 6 Moral):
Big Sister (Commander)
Dragon Legion Keeper
Dragon Legionnaire x4
Hammer of Heaven
Shield of Taelfon
The first turn was a fairly simple straightforward movement on both sides.
The next turn was a huge clash that saw Shael Han come out on top, thanks to their Enlightenment ability and the Defensive Insight on the Shield of Taelfon - the chance to do Backlash damage on low dice could easily take out enemy Rank 1 infantry. Kevyn lost six of his War Dancers (and two Moral) over the course of the turn, while spreading damage over my multi-wound models.
Defensive and Offensive Insights continued to give Shael Han the edge in the fight. One of my Legionnaires went down, but so did the Goritisi Shieldbreaker, Scourge Hound, Skirmishers and War Dancers (with another 2 moral!).
The two Goritisi leaders put a dent in the Shael Han forces, killing two Wrath and a second Legionnaire, but the vampire and werewolf eventually went down, decreasing the enemy's morale to 0 and ending the game.
The Patrol game went quickly, with Kevyn and I figuring out a lot of the basics as we went along (we still didn't quite get the difference between Willpower Checks and Willpower Attacks, but we figured that out in the second game).
Not wholly satisfied, we decided to bring out the majority of out starter boxes and play a Skirmish sized game with Motivations.
Kevyn's List (Goritsi, 10 Morale, Capture Prisoners):
Dance Master x2 (Commander)
Zeti War Dancer x12
Skorza Skirmisher x6
My List (Shael Han, 10 Morale, Call to Glory):
Dragon Legion Keeper (Commander)
Big Sister x2
Dragon Legionnaire x12
Hammer of Heaven
Shield of Taelfon
For our Motivations, my Leaders and Specialists had to kill models by themselves and then pass Willpower Checks. For each successful check (up to a total of six times, which was twice the number of Leader ranks), Kevyn's Moral would decrease by 1. Kevyn, on the other hand, had a pool of three tokens (one for each of his Leader ranks). Each model killed by Kevyn's force would become a token, which then needed to be carried back into Kevyn's deployment zone. Each model that ended a round unengaged would remove the token, and I would lose two Moral.
I forgot to take a picture of the initial deployment, but it basically mimicked the first, just with more models on the table.
The first turn was, again, spent by both sides moving into position. Instead of forcing his models into the choke point between the two sets of ruins, Kevyn opted to split his force into three sections - two flanking groups of War Dancers and Dancing Masters, and the large force of mostly Skorza in the center. This was smart - I was forced to divert my Legion Keeper commander and a large portion of my Legionnaires to cover my right, which deprived both sections of certain Defensive and Offensive Insights.
The fighting began in the center, with my Hammer taking down a War Dancer and removing one point from Kevyn's Moral. However, the Hammer was quickly surrounded by a trio of Skirmishers that subdued the specialist and took him prisoner before using the Alpha's Inspire ability to then move back. This placed them out of the range of a Wrath and Big Sister Group. Meanwhile, my Legionnaires and Kevyn's War Dancers prepared to face off on the flanks.
A lot of dice went my way this turn, with the Big Sisters and Wraths breaking down the center and the Legionnaires winning the fights on the sides. Kevyn's moral took a big hit this turn, both from model loss and from the Call to Glory motivation. He did, however, manage to capture another model, and successfully brought the first prisoner into the necessary deployment zone, causing me to lose two points of Moral.
After mopping up another War Dancer, Kevyn had taken enough Moral damage that the lost of one more model would be enough, and after a couple failed attempts from the two Sisters, an impatient Wrath struck down another War Dancer for the victory.
Motivations added a lot to the game, and I liked that each side could picked their own objectives that favored their strengths. I had the advantage in knowing my cards a little better (the complexity of the Enlightenment ability prompted me to read my cards over and over), but once Kevyn gets the hang of the Goritsi, I bet I'll have a challenge on my hands, especially if he starts using the Goritsi's maneuverability to take out the Leaders and Specialists that make my infantry so good.