Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why I'm playing Kings of War and not 8th...

So this will not be a hate filled rant against GW. I say again will not be. Its been about 6 weeks I'd guess since Age of Sigmar rolled out. Let me be the first to say it's a fun game... To play with my 6 & 8 year old sons. It really is, they love it. I like seeing them move models and roll dice all while having a blast. I firmly believe it's going to do well for GW. I know, I know, what am I saying? It appeals to adults with children between 6-13. It is a real winner for selling models. So moving on.

First off AOS doesn't come close to satisfying my need for a fantasy combat game. Not even in the same state let alone ballpark. It falls short if what "I" need in a game. I need strategic movement, thought process, balanced lists and blocks of infantry. I know right? Age if Sigmar has none of that. Some may argue it can/does have all of the above. To those people you are right. To you! It has those things to you, not me.

So I need blocks of infantry and slow, awkward movement. Yes more please sir!! So my options are Warhammer 8th and Kings of War. Yes I know about the other game Warpath, warprime or whatever its called but 3 pages into the rules I decided I didn't want to get my Masters degree in Game Theory. Way over the top complicated. So 8th or KOW.

Wow do I pick up a new system? Really? I know 8th and its pretty solid. Then Mantic made it easy for me. They released lists for WFB players namely ratkin, empire of dust, rhordian and or course Herd!! So in a matter of moments it hit me why I wont be playing 8th. I'm never getting a new book or models. I know neither is anyone else but I have the worst book hands down. Beastmen are bad in 8th. Glotkin made them better sure, I don't argue that.  The fan adjusted age of 9th, or 9th ed or 9th age, or whatever its being toted has made Beastmen waaaaaaaayyyyy better, not arguing that either. I'm just not interested in fan made additions. I don't want to do it. Its a game that will continue to slowly die as no gaming company supports it.

I mentioned earlier Mantic made this easy for me. They released a new army list for my army in 2 weeks. No waiting 5-6 years or if your Brets 14 years for books. They actively update the army lists and listen to their gamers. Oh and they gives zero shits where you buy models. Never mind that they encourage you to use unit filler. I was impressed. I liked what I saw and preordered the new rules. Meanwhile I got to use the beta rules to play before my alpha rules show up. Holy awesome game batman!! How did they make a game so simple and so fun? Tell me Mantic I demand to know!!! We played our first game in 96 minutes. We both loved it. Fluid and fast is how I describe it. I'm in love.

If you played 8th well you know how the average game is at least 3 hours in a non-tourney setting. Usually more like 4 in my experience, but damn it was a deep and beautiful game. Flavor runs amok in 8th. That was also the biggest problem with the game. Flavorful over the top spells, broken units that were auto includes ruled the game, not the case with Kings of War. Find a broken unit. I double dog dare you!!

So I am moving on to Kings of War. 8th is on life support. In time it will die. It doesn’t have a choice. Kings of War offers all of us fantasy players a chance to break free and start fresh, with our existing armies at that. Fresh new rules, new unit types to learn, new tactics to learn and the one thing we have never had BALANCE. It also offers a mechanic that might be my most favorite rule from any game. Nerve. You keep track of your wounds and after any phase which you have taken wounds your opponent rolls a 2D6. You compare that roll to  your "wavering" and "routed" stats. If its over on wavering it means you froze in place and routed means your friggin dead. It's gorgeous, it's simple and it keeps the game moving.

You'll hear "warhammer light" from some and I say to those people "it's obvious you haven't played it". Imagine if I told you a game was balanced, fast to learn, quick to play and movement tactics are MORE important. You actually have to be a general because no one spell or unit is going to break the game and win it for you. It doesn’t exist in KOW. You actually have to outplay the other guy. I've been beat in a lot of games due to being outlisted or incapable of dealing with a deathstar. I dare you to try your hand a game that requires the level of skill as KOW. I lost my first game because I got out maneuvered not because of a single unit or crappy dice roll. I got outplayed. I lost that game and I cant think of a single time I've played anything and had the fun I did.

Ok winding down here. Last thing Mantic actually wants community feedback. I'll let you stand back up, you read that right. They WANT your feedback. They monitor the boards and Facebook groups. They engage you. The respond to your questions. I have but one regret and that it took the death of my favorite game to see I hadn't found my favorite game yet. Shame on me. I've already had members of the community reach out to me telling how great our first batrep was and they want to see more. I'm blown away. I'm all the way in. See you around the way…


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  2. Your 2 Batreps put me WAY over the edge. I was already all in, but after seeing your enthusiasm I have no choice. You gents really echoed everything I had already come to believe about the game, but it was cool to see the game come to life in your video format. Thanks! BTW I love the herd army.

  3. Your comments on KoW not being Warhammer light is spot on. My brain goes twice as hard when playing KoW, strategically anyway. It really isn't like Warhammer that much. The major mechanics of the game involve damage/casualty management more so than matchups. For example, in warhammer, a chaos skullcrushers unit will kill most anything in each combat, but in kings of war, lesser quality units have a chance to take out beat stick elite units if they charge them at the right time. It really matters who you charge when, and what you sacrifice.

    I do wish the game had more hero building elements and spells, but it's a great game overall.

  4. The return to movement at the heart of battle is a welcome one.

    I grew tired of games that turned on "Unleash the Nuke (That I paid points for)", with little tactical manoeuvre.