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TheAuldGrump

Kings of War

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I've only played one test game so far with the starter undead/orc/goblin box, but really liked it. My buddy and I haven't done any war games since '99ish when we both sold off our minis, so it was fun to have a bunch of troops on the table again. We are waiting for my v2 armies I kicked to come in before trying again (at first we were waiting for the rules for v2 to finalize, then we decided to hold out for more troops so we could relive our old 'tons o' troops' games we used to play), though I've amassed several large skaven ratmen, undead and gobbo units since then via some great deals at Half Price Books (got about 100 metal grab-bag minis from various manufacturers the other day for $15, and a while before that it looks like someone had dumped most of a large Skaven army spanning 3 or 4 WHFB versions or minis, which I snatched most of for about 1/3 of their current retail cost).

 

I wish someone around me carried KoW stuff though, the better stores in my area are all about AoS for whatever reason still. Though I suspect my constant pestering them about KoW is eventually going to help...

Edited by pinkymadigan
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Is anyone doing fancy dioramas with the unit basing?   Part of me wants to go this way, especially with the undead.  On the other hand, I want to reserve the ability to use my minis for other games.  In my case, I'd ideally be playing both KoW and Lion Rampant.  

 

I guess that since I'm in the middle of painting a lot of minis for Bolt Action, I have plenty of time to contemplate the possibilities. 

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Some of that 'sameness' is illusory - dwarfs really do not feel like either orcs or undead, in play, as an example. Their ability to shake off Wavering results is very different than the Undead not having a Wavering result at all. The Orcs, with their Crushing Strength plays very differently against Dwarfs than it does against undead.

 

I think the fact that the game is so well balanced is why those single-special-rule differences make such an impact.  Same with the magic items; they're just a +1 here or there, but that can be just enough to make a difference (without making or breaking the entire game).

 

@lowlylowlycook:  I'm doing some multibasing on my units, though I don't know if I'd call them a "fancy" diorama.  Here is an example of one of my multibased units of Goblin Spitters, where I used some WFB 4th Ed. goblin figures that I hadn't touched in... um, however many years since WFB 4th Ed. was out.  :lol:  I think multibasing gives you a chance to make something interesting/appealing even with "meh" figures!

 

As far as not wanting figures perma-multibased, I have run into that problem with a Rackham Dwarf of Mid-Nor that I painted up as a slave master for a unit of Slave Orcs (for my Abyssal Dwarf army).  I simply left a spot for him on the multibase, but he's not permanently attached like the other figures.  I was debating about trying a magnet setup so he'll "stick" to the base a little more securely.  I know WFB players have been doing something similar to base their troops onto unit trays for some time, so that might be an option if you want a sort of middle-ground between single-basing and multibasing.

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I'm planning to do some big diorama bases for my human hordes and zombie legion, with the whole unit on one base. The zombie legion would ideally have a zombie giant in the middle.

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Yeah, I definitely already use magnetic bases with metal trays.  In fact, I transport my armies in their trays in large photo boxes with magnetic strips glued down.  It's magnets everywhere!

 

The alternative is to show up for a game and say "Hey, give me 40 minutes, I need to try and rank up these Black Orcs and apparently I when I glued them together I thought the more wildly they were swinging weapons outside of their base the cooler the pose looked.  Also, why do they put these huge tusks on their helmets that just jab at the orc in front.  Oh, wait, nevermind, they are orcs."  

Edited by lowlylowlycook
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One thing is for sure, unit basing is going to be a godsend for units of flyers.

 

 

So here is an email I sent out to my local group trying to get as many people interested as possible.  I guess it's a bit late for this but do the people that have actually played KoW think it's accurate?

 

One thing about Kings of War is that there are many less units than there are in WHFB.  For instance, if you look at the elf list you might be thinking:  

 
 
What the hell!  Palace Guard?  That's it?  No White Lions, no Swordmasters, no Phoenix Guard, no Wildwood Rangers?   Why did I buy all these different units?  Why did I paint them?  This stuff is boooooooring.  Also, who the hell approved these Drakon Rider models?!?!?!?!
 
 
But there is a way to add in more variety and also to attempt to reproduce your favorite units:  magic items.   In Kings of War, magic items are mostly unit buffs somewhat similar to banners in WHFB.  The limitation is that each unit can only have one magic item and each magic item can only go on one unit.  That  means you'll have to make some decisions about what's most important for each unit and for the army overall.
 
Say you have a unit of White Lions.  You could reproduce their high strength by adding a  Brew of Strength.  You could represent their stubbornness with a Helm of Confidence.  But you can't make a super unit with both.
 
Say you have a unit of Phoenix Guard.  You could reproduce their defensive nature with a Orcbains Amulet of Thorns that turns them into a phalanx.  Or, inspired by the fluff, you could reproduce their ability to foresee the future with Gem of Zallak.   Or when the unit is destroyed their Phoenix Statue (aka unit filler) explodes and so they have the Crystal Pendant of Retribution.
 
Say you have a unit of Swordmasters.  You could reproduce ability to parry arrows with "The Fog" which makes them stealthy which, in turn, makes it -1 to shoot them.  You could reproduce their high weapon skill with a Brew of Sharpness.  Or, looking to the fluff say that the unit includes a mage and use the Diadem of Dragon-kind to give them a breath weapon attack. 
 
It doesn't always work perfectly:  Looking at the Wildwood Rangers there is a Blade of the Beast Slayer that would be perfect to model their ability to take on big monsters in WHFB but, alas, it's only for heroes.  You can, however give them the pathfinder ability with Maccwar's Potion of the Caterpillar. 
 
 
Anyway, just based on reading the rules, I think that these magic items won't be able to simulate the mechanics of every WHFB unit but they do add a lot of flexibility to help you reimagine them.   As a bonus, that flexibility extends to units that come neither from WHFB or from Mantic.  My LOTR elves with two handed swords have very dynamic poses so maybe I could give them Wine of Elvenkind and thus make them Nimble.  

 

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I haven't gotten to the point of using magic items in KoW to simulate special abilities from WFB.  At this point, I would be more likely to use the White Lions and Swordsmasters as two differently-flavored units of Palace Guard (though I'll be honest, I haven't really looked at the Elf army list so there might be a better match for either of those units).

 

Still, the point remains in that it works the other way, too:  you can use cool-looking models in the game without worrying about them being a poor unit choice (as was the case in WFB all too often).

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There was a very similar thing that happened with Warmaster when it came out, and the High Elf army (to continue llc's example) had just spearmen and archers as its infantry units, and that was it. There were eventually minis released for Phoenix Guard and Swordmasters, albeit with no accompanying rules, and it was recommended that they could be used as units with magic items.

Like Magnus I don't see it as necessary that different kinds of elite elf infantry need to have different rules; as I said earlier those kind of specifics shouldn't be of any concern in a mass battle game. I do however think that differently modeled units are a great way of showing a unit with a magic artifact, and that the artifacts are a great way to personalize a unit for a particular role.

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I haven't actually gotten to play, but I've read my first edition rulebook many, many times. I would think using allies and 'counts as' would be another option to get all of the WFB units into a list and onto the table, too.

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The only catch with using allies is that they don't benefit from your primary force's leaders or buffs, such as magic or standards (there are possibly other drawbacks that I haven't noticed yet, as well).  You could always house-rule it with your friends, but it's definitely something to consider if you want to play a tournament/"by-the-books"-legal force.

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The only catch with using allies is that they don't benefit from your primary force's leaders or buffs, such as magic or standards (there are possibly other drawbacks that I haven't noticed yet, as well).  You could always house-rule it with your friends, but it's definitely something to consider if you want to play a tournament/"by-the-books"-legal force.

 

That, and if you want just a war machine or a monster you have to take a regiment/horde from the allied list as well. So you can't just throw a giant into your Kingdoms of Men army, for example.

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Seems we will be playing this on fantasy  night this week.  Has anyone come across a nice rules summary or cheat sheet?   I know it's a simple game but we might need something to keep us from trying to roll for the winds of magic every turn.   :lol:

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Seems we will be playing this on fantasy night this week. Has anyone come across a nice rules summary or cheat sheet? I know it's a simple game but we might need something to keep us from trying to roll for the winds of magic every turn. :lol:

I'm not aware of anything, but honestly you probably won't need to even look at the book after a couple of turns.

If you have your army lists with all the units' rules, you'll be fine; there's no tables or anything to consult so all you'd really have on a cheat sheet would be the turn order and combat rules, which once you've done a round of shooting and a round of melee you should be fine with anyway. If you wanted the convenience of a cheat sheet and you've got an actual book, you might consider putting post-its in the pages for movement and melee, and possibly special rules.

Hope the games go well!

Edited by Dai-Mongar
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Seems we will be playing this on fantasy night this week. Has anyone come across a nice rules summary or cheat sheet? I know it's a simple game but we might need something to keep us from trying to roll for the winds of magic every turn. :lol:

I'm not aware of anything, but honestly you probably won't need to even look at the book after a couple of turns.

If you have your army lists with all the units' rules, you'll be fine; there's no tables or anything to consult so all you'd really have on a cheat sheet would be the turn order and combat rules, which once you've done a round of shooting and a round of melee you should be fine with anyway. If you wanted the convenience of a cheat sheet and you've got an actual book, you might consider putting post-its in the pages for movement and melee, and possibly special rules.

Hope the games go well!

 

This would be true except for the fact that 1) we are playing lots of different games these days 2) my memory is terrible.

 

Thus I decided to throw together the following cheat sheet which has the basics plus things that strike me as easy to forget (removing disordered tokens) plus some little notes of things that might be either not obvious or not the same as WHFB or other games (no range penalties for shooting, measuring from the leader point for charges, scooting chargers after closing the door, etc.).  

 

KOW 2.0 Cheat Sheet

 

Any corrections welcome.  I still have to check if the page numbers are right for all versions.

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