Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Kings of War games

A little while back I had my first two trial runs of 'Kings of War' using my Dwarfs. First game was 1,000 points and the second game around 1,500 points. While we didn't get all the rules correct (mainly forgetting the Disruption rule and its effect) I think we got most of it. The rules are not complex so it was easy enough to get to grips with the game.
First game (red dice is a wound counter).

Near end game my Cannons and Heros (unpainted) getting smashed in the face.

I faced a Beastman army which uses Orcs rules. Mostly devoid of shooting units and being very good in combat the strategy is make contact with the enemy as quick as possible for them. I am still to figure what Dwarfs are supposed to do. Shoot cannons perhaps as they are nasty when they hit. I really enjoyed the experience and I think all four of us who participated did. After the games all players went through that after game analysis of army list combinations as excitement was high and imagination was fired up. Big infantry units with 40 strength can dish out a lot of combat dice but they only give you the option to include 1 hero and 1 war machine/big monster. A twenty strong unit infantry unit also gives you that same option and heroes can really enhance an army through re-rolling nerve tests (morale and rout tests) but also help stack on the damage when used in combination with regular units. So balance in army list building is interesting. Take infantry units of twenty or forty (in some cases units of 30) to get more canons or be more resilient in combat when those units clash.
It was a great test of who well the rules are written as they proved easy to look up when questions came up and also an excellent lack of ambiguity. I would have liked to have seen a battle report example in the rule book. One aspect that made the buckets of dice aspect easy was having 20 black dice, 10 white dice etc. As the amount you roll is mostly unchanged it was quick and easy to grab the right amount. I will have to keep that in mind for future games...really handy.  
Overall though it was a really enjoyable wargaming experience. Lots of fun. Many, many years ago one of my first war game experiences was playing Warhammer Fantasy with the box set that had plastic goblins and elves. It was great fun and this game recaptured the fun element. As that game currently has a brick of a rule book bigger than any university text book I have ever known I won't return to that game. Not to mention the figure costs now. Sheeeesh!
It is interesting that the creator of Mantic does come from the GW stable. However the point of difference is surely the affordability of Kings of War. I highly recommend you go check it out yourself. If fantasy is not your thing then consider substituting figures as I plan to do for a Human army. A longer term plan but one day an Early Imperial Roman Army in day. Check out what's been created here on converting Kings of War for historical gaming.

From Brendon (The Kiwi)

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