fredag 23 oktober 2015

Gearing up for Kings of War

Well, after getting the finger from GW in the form of their Age of Shitmar ruleset I have been thinking of other rules to try out. Open Combat seems like a good and well produced skirmish set, but I like to maneuver blocks of troops around as well. Fantasy mods of Saga or Hail Caesar has come to mind, but as I don't play very often I don't want to have to tinker and house rule a lot. I downloaded the free Kings of War rules and they seemed to be what I wanted. Some novel ideas - to me at least - like no figure removal enticed me further and I bought the gamers edition of the rule book. This is without all the background of the hardback book but with complete army lists compared to the free rules.

A unit of Dwarf Shieldbreakers for Kings of War. Why do leaders have to stand in that come at me bro" pose.
I have been playing Dwarfs since Warhammer 3rd edition but Games Workshop essentially killed off my interest in them with their latest army book and figures. Too silly for my taste. I still don't like Mantics bucket-headed dwarfs, but the GW figures are worse IMO. Getting blasted by magic in every game without any effective countermeasures also helped, so I turned to Chaos. But my love for short, hairy things didn't end there, and I continued to buy Dwarf figures from other manufacturers like Avatars of War instead.

I hate that banner, I suck at freehand. But it was the best I could manage...

Avatars of War is run by ex-GW sculptor Felix Paniagua and are very warhammer-esque. Their anatomy is a bit dodgy, seems like they are either lacking knees or abdomens under that armour. But that is of no concern since the details on them are beautiful. They are a bitch to assemble though, multi-part resin models that you need about three hands to hold together, and a fourth apply the glue. The solution is to use green stuff to hold the figures together while you adjust the fit and then pour superclue into the joins. They are also very bulky and wield giant hammers which means it's virtually impossible to rank them up on 20mm bases. So I decided to mount four figures on the same width that you would normally use five figures.

This base is a "troop" in Kings of War terms. You can see how crowded the base is despite only having eight figures.
In Kings of War your figures fight in different units with a fixed size. The smallest is 10 figures in two ranks of 5 models and is called a Troop. A Regiment is 20 figures in four ranks, and a Horde is 40 figures with four ranks of 10. (There is also Legion which is a six ranks of 10, but dwarfs can't take any.) Since the size and number of figures is fixed and no single figures are removed during play, you can base all figures together on the base, making it easier to make all the figures fit and move the unit around the board. This allowed my to put only eight figures on the base instead of ten and still have them work in the game.

Expanding the base makes the unit a Regiment.
Since the box contains 30 figures I'm planning on adding bases so I can field either a Troop, Regiment or Horde. As long as the base size is correct it shouldn't matter that it's 30 figures instead of 40. So I have made another base that goes behind the first base to expand the unit to a Regiment.

Expanding it further with two flank bases makes it a Horde.
To keep the leader in the centre I also made two side bases to expand the unit into a Horde. I will also be able to field the side bases together if I want to have two Regiments instead. I made all the bases out of GW movement trays, using the squares to get the correct size. I painted and flocked them lying together so the bases would fit together, and I used less flock further back to simulate the vegetation being trampled beneath the weight of all that armour.

So what do the health and safety inspector say about this work environment? Luckily they all wear helmets...
The figures were fairly easy to paint, mostly steel and gold. I used various browns from Wargames Foundry on the beards, layering them in three tones. To vary them a bit I gave the leader a red beard (of course) and made one other grey and one blonde. No skin is visible on these figures, but lots of gems which I think came out nicely. Bits of clothings, the banner and hammer shafts were painted blue since my original Dwarf army had blue livery.

Oi, Blondie! (That mold line is not visible in reality, but here it stands out like a sore thumb).
I like the way you choose your forces in Kings of War. Besides points, each Regiments allows you to buy two Troops and either a Hero, a Monster or a War Machine. Hordes allows you to buy four Troops, as well as a Hero, a Monster AND a War Machine. Easy and makes your armies look varied and good. No more micro-managing if you should buy 23 Hammerers to have some extra figures to still get rank bonuses, or only 18 to save points. No more deciding wether you should have a five, seven or ten figure frontage. Since Heroes always move on their own, no more painting 25 figures to make up a unit only to realise that you want your general in there as well spoiling the formation.

Someone is a bit grumpy at the leader I think...
While I still haven't played Kings of War I must confess that it has gotten me interested in Fantasy gaming again, particularly my Dwarfs Army. While I have enough dwarfs to play Kings of straight away using movement trays I have quite a lot of unpainted stuff as well, and I'm going to base them for KoW instead.

Happy Gaming!

11 kommentarer:

  1. Loving those dwarfs! Mr. Paniagua sure has nailed it with most of this range - his Pathfinders are bedwettingly gorgeous (but a right pain to assemble, and the lack of extra parts/bitz doesn't exactly help). Can't wait to see what you can do with the LE BSB - if I remember correctly the banner has sculpted details, so you won't have to worry about freehanding anything.

    Look forward to having my full body waxed and oil-smothered barbarians serving The Lady/Lord/Thing of Pleasure slam into your army of bearded metal ... and bounce off :-P

  2. KIngs of War sounds interesting! I love the idea of not having to remove models, it means you can consider each base a miniature diorama... maybe I should dig up my old marauder dark elves from the basement...

    1. Yeah, and you could use them as is to try it out. No need to rebase.

  3. Awaesome job on these the banner as well!

  4. Been thinking about giving Kings of War a try haven't played that much warhammer the last couple of years. Just been painting a Warriors of Chaos force on and off during the last years.

    Was looking at the armies on the Mantic site, is there a fraction equivalent to Warriors of Chaos?

    1. There is no fraction that equals Warriors of Chaos specifically. Yet.

      There are however a fraction for Forces of the Abyss, which equates to Daemons of Chaos, sort of. Most of the daemons have their place, although the flavours of Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh is lost. They can also take fleshlings, which is Chaos Marauders.

      As Kingdom of Men is a Neutral list and Forces of the Abyss is Evil they can be aligned. So you could build a Kingdom of Men list with Chaos Warriors and then use Forces of the Abyss to ally in daemons and other stuff.

  5. Lovely dwarves, and I am interested to see how you get on with KOW. (and once you go with a fixed regiment, you could try other games like Impetus or Hail Caesar too)

    For myself, I never seemed to make it to actually playing Warhammer, so I am not wedded to the system, but conceptually I do really like WHFB 6th edition, so maybe I will just build armies for that and stay there... after all, most potential games are ones I am hosting anyway.

    1. Thanks.

      It's a bit strange, but somehow the way the army lists are structured really hits a nerve with me and has renewed my interest in fantasy gaming.

      Having played Warhammer since 2nd edition all the way up to 8th I realise it's less about the rules and more about the army lists. I don't need a power house list, but I don't like to have one that's nerfed from the beginning (especially if the others are cheese fests).

    2. Yes, army books are both exciting and fun in terms of new rules and units, while simultaneously being the actual death of a game... that the team takes so long to write new ones, rather than dashing them all out at once is probably to blame.

      Probably the WH40k 3.0 codex era is the only time in which GW managed to make "balanced" armies... and those were tiny little things in comparison to contemporary books.


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