Sunday, March 20, 2016
First Impressions: Kings Of War
The other day, I played my first game of Kings of War, which had taken up some interests amongst several wargaming friends of ours. Every since the Warhammer Fantasy has been vaporized, there seems to be a gaming power vacum for Fantasy rules sets. And as it so happens to be that the Kings of War took off. But since most of you readers are mostly aware with this, we will go to my first impressions.
In honesty, I am not that big into fantasy in the sense of everything. This is part of the reason I never really took hold of Warhammer. This is not to say I won't play it. And when I say everything, I mean rhino riding Orcs fighting Space Elves, Mushroom troops versus weird robots, and for whatever reason, magic. I am aware that this might not even be a possibly. For whatever reason, I like fantasy to make more sense. Sure, there can be magic in a game, but I want more simplicity like Medieval fighting. I think that it's what made books like Lord of the Rings really good to me, because there was not that much magic, despite the capability of it. Also, I would prefer a themed fantasy game, which I nearly have never seen in a game room other than conventions. That maybe also be the turn off for me is that no one really makes anything terrain-wise or even a battlefield to give their well-painted troops a story to fight in.
So about King of War. This is a fairly strait forward rules set. It you want a fairly simple game, this game has that going for it. You can just have a killfest throwing down lots of dice. It also has the advantage of using fantasy figures you already may have from previous gaming systems such as Warhammer Fantasy. So this can be an easy modify to your miniatures to this game. Also, it would not cost too much to get into if you have nothing for it, unless you are like me and want the terrain to be awesome and match the troops. The only thing I found that I am not a fan of is the movement trays and the disorder markers. I, personally, never cared for movement trays despite their use even in Neopoleanic games, though they are useful. As for the disordered markers, in King of War can be confusing if you are used to historical gaming, since King of War has disordered meaning your troops formation is unified after a melee clash with the enemy, where as, in the historic games, being about the same, it is more focused towards unit morale.
So my first play test, I burrowed an army of Dwarfs which had some fairly decent armor and one rather large unit. This was up against a goblin forces which had chariots, trolls, and some giant crossbows. The rest of the goblins had they units of bowmen and two units of spears. I cannot really remember all of the details to want abilities I had. Honestly, I did not care, since I was only trying out the mechanics. Again, these rules were strait forward as a UGO IGO system. There is movement, shooting, melee. You role morale after receiving damage. This is simply calculated by adding your casualties to what you roll against your unit value with two dice. If it exceeds the unit value, they are done. There is are simple ways to flank, which doubles dice and rear hits that triple. Needless to say, there is a lot dice throwing in this game.
After several turns in our test game, the Dwarfs lost three units, where as, the Goblins lost everyone. 13 full units killed in action! A bloodfest if that is what you are looking for. I may play some more of Kings of War before I am completely sold. Anyway, here are some shots of the game in no particular order. Enjoy!