Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Metal War Elephants

As well as planning a Mongol army for Kings of War I plan to create a Human Arab army to oppose them. Inspired by three ideas.

1. The KoW version 2 now includes a 'Beast of War' option for Human forces. Interpretation of that is up to players but it's a perfect slot for War Elephants to fit in.

2. I purchased the Gripping Beast plastic Arab box sets for possibly a Lion Rampant force but it can be expanded for KoW.

3. The Conqueror historical novel series at a certain point sees a Mongol army faced with Elephants among an Arab army. It was one of many incredible parts of those books.

It was a hefty purchase from Aventine Miniatures.
They have a few options to choose from and Crew are a separate purchase option. I will use Plastic Foot Arabs from Gripping beast to man the Howdahs and convert some Pilots for sitting behind the heads.
Are these the right looking style historically? No idea and I don't care really.

I was originally thinking to make one for my slow grow Early Imperial Roman army and leave the Arab force with 3. In the adventures of Macro and Cato one turned up in the invasion of Britannia. But I might just let the Arabs have four for maximum impact.

Lots of building taking place recently on the table but no painting continues.
Cheers from Brendon

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Planning a Mongol Horde for Kings of War

I have been considering the options to create a Mongol inspired force in Kings of War (KoW). I settled on using the 'Elf Armies' options for the build. I aim to make my KoW forces 2,000points.
Why Elves? Mongols of course are famed for Archery and Horseback Archery in particular. The Elf options have good 'Ranged Attack' and swift horses.
Need to paint some more!
I painted a box of 12 Fireforge Mongol mounted dudes and also some on foot earlier this year (2015). Excellent miniatures that deserve to be in a game. I have started assembling more of them but to get a direction I really felt the need to make a list. So after a few tries and head scratching I came up with this... 
These mystic scribblings must have a meaning!
1940 Points so leaves a few points to fill with Magic Artefacts. It's given me a clear direction with my next intended purchase for this force which is Heavy Mongol Cavalry.

As a note....KoW for army balance has an unlock system. As an example to get a Troop of Horse Archers (5 Models) you get 2 for each Regiment or 4 for each Horde. I am not bound by the number of models the book states for each unit but by the total base size for each unit. Totally acceptable if explained to an opponent in my opinion.

But here goes the translation...
..with loud colours now!?
GREEN = 4 x Troops of Silverbreeze Cavalry (they have bows and the Nimble skill)

RED = 2 x Regiments of Kindred Gladestalkers (Infantry with Bows, Pathfinder and Vanguard skills

BLUE = 2 x Stormwind Cavalry Regiments (Heavy Cavalry....no bows)

YELLOW = Heroes. 1 x Shaman (Elven Mage), 2 x Army Standard mounted (1 can be the Mongol drummer on a Camel). 1 x Drakon Rider Lord (Giant Eagle)

PINK = War Chariots Horde. (Cavalry Horde).

It's been a really interesting exercise in coming up with the translation but it works for me and here is some thoughts on the why.

Why a Giant Eagle. In The Conqueror novel Eagles are a part that I recall. Genghis climbed up to a nest and bagged one...Eagles = huge status symbol. It's also a fantasy game as well so why not have an element of the fantastic. Also it flies and is going to look awesome!

War Chariots? Of course I don't recall any reference to Mongols having Chariots but the Elf options do not include a Medium style Cav. It's a max of a Heavy Cav Regiment or small units of Bow Cav (Scouts probably). I also already have a bunch of mounted plastic Mongols purchased and don't think they cut it as Heavy Cav. The thing with the War Chariots is also the HUGE footprint the unit has. Each chariot is 50x100 and a Horde is 6 of those with 3 across. So that's a total of 150 x 200. Perfect for a truckload of Mongols on horses. War Chariots are also armed with Bows...yaaay! Means it can be a great mix of arms in the unit as well.

Wizard? = Shaman. That's an easy one. Fantasy games need spells.

Infantry? Yes, infantry! I recall a battle with the Mongols dismounting a large force to climb a mountain range to appear behind an army. Basically trapping it. Cutting off any exit with a frontal attack up the valley from the rest of the mounted Mongol army resulting in total victory.

Other infantry could include a Militia option from the Human options. I recall the Mongols using large numbers of conscripts in Europe to use up the enemy's arrows. The only downside was feeding them.
Doing that of course could open up the option to include a Canon from the Human list. Kublai Khan (Genghis's descendant) used them in the novels.

End bit...
Looks like it's going to be a swift moving, bow shooting army. Excellent!

Cheers from Brendon

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kings of War Version 2. AWESOME!

Yaaaay! Version 2!
As a kickstarter backer I got a PDF version of the soon to be released Version 2 of Kings of War. It's an excellent evolution of the game and I will post some random thoughts here. Some of what I write may be of more interest to those who have played it before. But you may find some points interesting if you haven't played the game yet.

Unit base size has been further clarified.  

Height. Units now have a Height as does terrain. 1 - 4. This is for Line of Sight reasons and looks like it will add that little bit more certainty in the game over any doubts of what can see what.

The rules have an excellent explanation of movement and unit positions. Especially for multiple units hitting a single unit.

Despite base size this rule makes it clear.
Counter Charge (which I think is new) allows a unit that survived a rear/flank charge to turn around and charge back...provided it isn't Wavering of course   

Spells. The game now has SIX spells.
Fireball - Magic Missile damage
Bane-chant - Friendly unit gains a fight bonus or two.
Wind Blast - Push an enemy unit back
Lightning Bolt - Longer range nastier magic missile
Heal - Heal wounds on friendly units
Surge - Move friendly shambling units

Force Builds...
Allies. 25% max, no allied Living Legends, Evil and Good races can't mix but Neutral goes with anything of course.

On Force Lists...
Very clear explanation on the KoW unlock system. 1 Regiment allows you to include 2 Troops and, 1 of the following War Engine, Monster or Hero. 

In Force build lists the option for adding a Banner and a Musician to  a unit are gone. Makes a few less numbers when adding them up and also avoids that +/- during Nerve tests that I usually forget anyway.  

Twilight Kin (Evil Elves) have been dropped. Not sure why.

11 races included to build a list from.

Cannons and the like have increased in points costs. Better reflects the potential damage they can do.

Magical Artefact's. An increase in items. Don't be put off by these as they are not game breakers. Just a bonus +1 here and there or access to a a Special Ability

Scenarios. 6 scenario options to choose or randomly roll for.

Human Forces.
I have used the options for historically styled forces and now there are a few more options for those who would do just that. 
Berserkers. A new unit ideal for any unarmoured fanatic maniacs. Small, Regiment and even Horde sized option. Penitents Mob has been dropped but a Militia Mob can be as large as a 'Legion!' (largest unit possible).
Shooters have 3 entries now rather than just one with the option to be Bowmen, Crossbows or Arquebusiers (guns).
Charioteers. I don't recall them being an option before but great for British Celts or Egyptian style forces.

Stolen from Aventine Miniatures. How Awesome!
Beast of War (Monster). Perfect for that Elephant. Now who makes them in 28mm? 50 x 100mm base size so could be anything really.

Heavy Pike Block. Elite better armoured Pike unit. The Pike special rule has been dumped but Pike units get 'Ensnare' and 'Phalanx'.

Ogre Unit options in the Human list have been dropped. They have their very own list.

Throwing Mastiff rules much clearer.
More units like Earth Elementals, Greater Earth Elemental, Stone Priest, Sharpshooters, and a Jarrun Bombard. 
I haven't played armies other than Dwarves and Humans.

Plenty of nice coloured photos of miniatures. No photos of an actual game in progress though and no example game described. The internet probably more than takes care of that though. 
Lots of History and a Mantica map for building a fantasy world background.
A small part of Mantica.
The copy I have didn't come with an Index but the Hard copy may do. The Contents makes it easy enough to find most things though.
Overall it's a great set of rules for big unit battles. Looking forward to gaming with them again. It's inspired me to source some Elephants.

Cheers from Brendon